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Water Quality Standard Approved

Release Date: 12/30/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Following a long-sought agreement reached recently between Oklahoma and Arkansas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Oklahoma's phosphorus standard for its scenic rivers and the accompanying implementation schedule, EPA Regional Administrator  Richard E. Greene announced today.

      The approval allows facilities up to 10 years to spread out the costs of implementing new treatment technologies to achieve the new phosphorus standard, similar to a strategy adopted by the state of Florida in managing phosphorus problems in the Everglades.  The EPA action follows closely the signature by environmental agencies from both Oklahoma and Arkansas on a "Statement of Joint Principles and Actions," which sets out a broad set of tools that the states plan to use to improve water quality in the scenic rivers.

      "Today's approval of the water quality standard, in combination with the Statement of Joint Principles signed by the states, puts Oklahoma and Arkansas on a positive path toward higher water quality in the shared watersheds," Greene said.