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Oklahoma Group Fighting Building Of Arkansas Sewage Facility

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Illinois River in Cherokee County [file photo] Illinois River in Cherokee County [file photo]


TAHLEQUAH, OK -- An Oklahoma group has filed a motion with the state of Arkansas over the building of a new sewage plant in Arkansas. 

Save the Illinois River, Inc. (STIR) says in a news release, the new facility violates the Clean Water Act and will pollute Oklahoma's scenic Illinois River. 

STIR says sewage from the plant should not be discharged until there is a scientific study of the watershed. 

The plant serves Bentonville and smaller communities which do not currently discharge to the Illinois River watershed. 

Opposition to the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant centers on phosphorus, a nutrient which degrades water quality and damages aquatic life.


While Oklahoma has a limit for phosphorus in scenic rivers like the Illinois River, STIR says the state of Arkansas does not and has refused to list Osage Creek and the Illinois River as impaired waters.

"The NACA wastewater treatment plant will add approximately 30 pounds of phosphorous daily to streams recognized by the EPA and Oklahoma as already damaged by phosphorus. Neither Oklahoma nor Arkansas has conducted required studies to determine how much phosphorus can be added to the streams without causing further impairment," STIR President Kurt Robinson of Muskogee said.

"Oklahoma's phosphorous limit for the Illinois River may be impossible to achieve because of the NACA facility. Tenkiller Lake, one of Oklahoma's finest water resources, will suffer even further from algae growth if this permit is allowed to stand."

STIR is a not for profit citizen's coalition charted in 1984 to protect and preserve the Illinois River, its tributaries, and Tenkiller Lake. 

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