Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Legislators Appointed to Joint Commission

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Legislators Appointed to Joint Commission

Article excerpt

Six state legislators have been appointed to an Oklahomakansas committee that will explore the neighboring states' mutual concerns about industrial development and natural resources.

The panel is the joint Economic and Natural Resources Study Commission.

Appointed by Speaker of the House Glen D. Johnson, D-Okemah, were Reps. Larry E. Adair, D-Stilwell; Bruce Niemi, D-Tulsa; and Jim Reese, R-Deer Creek. Senate President Pro Tempore Robert V. Cullison, D-Skiatook, selected Sens. Larry Dickerson, D-Poteau; Lewis Long Jr., D-Glenpool; and Herb Rozell, D-Tahlequah.

Adair and Niemi are members of the House Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, while Dickerson and Long are members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

The joint commission will spend up to a year examining each state's economic development policies and practices and their impact on the two states' natural resources.

The commission was created by House Joint Resolution 1069, which Oklahoma's lawmakers and governor endorsed in May.

Oklahoma and Arkansas have similar economic bases, especially agriculture and mining, which are "subject to similar problems relating to growth and regulation," the resolution said.

Oklahoma Mining Commission records reflect that eastern Oklahoma is dotted with sites that produce coal, limestone, sand and gravel, clay and shale, chat (used for railroad ballast, highway construction and concrete production) and tripoli (used in concrete and as a paint filler).

The two states also have similar natural resources which may be affected adversely by "discharges from industries and activities which are common to these states," the resolution asserted.

For example, Adair noted, Oklahoma poultry farmers have been criticized for polluting the Illinois River, which flows through both states. Meanwhile, the State of Oklahoma unsuccessfully sued the State of Arkansas because the City of Fayetteville dumps treated wastewater into an upstream tributary of the Illinois River. …

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