Oklahoma Fails To Submit Pollution Reduction Plan To EPA
Beverly Cantrell - February 11, 2022 9:53 am
OKLAHOMA CITY – News 9
Environmental activists are unhappy with state and federal regulators. They claim the Department of Environmental Quality dropped the ball.
“This is a pattern of behavior for our DEQ and quite frankly it is unacceptable,” said Cheyenne Branscum, the Oklahoma Sierra Club Chapter Chair.
The Department of Environmental Quality is supposed to submit the report every 5 years but for the second time, they have failed to meet the deadline.
Environmental organizations around the nation are taking legal action after several states, including Oklahoma, are failing to comply with the Clean Air Act.
“Oklahoma absolutely can still get into compliance it’s not like you missed the deadline and now you can’t do it. That’s what we want, we want Oklahoma to get into compliance because we want our clean air protected,” said Branscum.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality was supposed to submit its plan to reduce air pollution to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Chair of the organization said, “Oklahoma has a huge number of parks and wildlife areas and because we are a fossil fuel state, we have a huge amount of pollution from this. it truly is a statewide issue.”
Oklahoma currently has over 30 facilities that are sources for regional haze which contributes to air pollution.
“Think of any of that pollution that’s created from coal plants and from fossil extraction facilities. That gets blown into our national parks and our wild areas and the communities around them. Unfortunately, it sticks around and that’s what people end up breathing,” said Branscum.
DEQ said it hasn’t submitted the report because the staff is “working to respond to comments received from Federal Land Managers and EPA.”
The EPA is now facing legal action for not holding Oklahoma and other states accountable for the missed deadline.
“This notice of intention to sue is not just the Sierra Club but it is 39 groups total crossing 39 states,” said Branscum.
The DEQ says they hope to submit the report in a couple of months.