The Norman Transcript

Letters

August 4, 2013

TMDL report could help make some needed changes

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

On July 23, the DEQ hosted a public meeting to present a draft of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Lake Thunderbird.

Several city staff were in attendance, along with state employees OCC and EPA staff. Also present was a strong contingent of developers, construction industry lobbyists and the politicians who represent their interests at the state Capitol.

Once the final draft of the TMDL study is complete, the clock starts ticking. Norman will have 24 months to cut pollutant loads to Lake Thunderbird by 35 percent or else face hefty fines.

There is a bit of history to how this TMDL study has unfolded, why it was necessary and how the city of Norman and its various actors have dealt with the information.

From 2008 to 2009, state agencies began monitoring critical areas in the watershed to produce hydrologic models that would inform the TMDL study. The goal was to identify sources and levels of pollution and to help determine how best to fix it.

In June 2011, with the TMDL and subsequent federal mandates looming in the background, city officials took a proactive stance, adopting the Stormwater Master Plan and passing a Water Quality Protection Zone ordinance.

Push back from developers has been fierce. They continue to fight implementation of any scientifically proven environmental controls recommended by the Stormwater Master Plan. This “total war” strategy embraced by the Norman Developers Council has not been without success.

In retaliation for the city imposing what turned out to be rather weak and flexible environmental controls, NDC — along with certain factions at the Chamber — threw their support behind the most oppositional, regressive political caricatures they could find.

Former Council members Spaulding, Gallagher and Lockett all had campaign coffers that would have remained mostly empty without the steady flow of money from developers. And in 2012, they managed to stack the deck with another joker, Chad Williams.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014