Congressman to press EPA for greater role in water quality dispute

Monday, August 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Congressman John Sullivan says he'll press federal environmental regulators for a larger role in the water quality fight between Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Sullivan says he has a meeting next month with EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman. He says he'll ask Whitman to reverse the agency's position that the two states should resolve the dispute.

Oklahoma has passed stricter restrictions on phosphorous levels in the state's six scenic rivers.

State officials blame sewage from cities and runoff from chicken farms in northwest Arkansas for the high levels of phosphorous, especially in the Illinois River.

Arkansas officials say the restrictions are too strict and will hurt economic development. The two states are negotiating.

Phosphorous causes algae growth, which can suffocate fish and plants.