WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today praised Senate passage (91-4) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Passage of WRDA, which includes several critical provisions for Oklahoma, was one of Senator Inhofe’s top priorities. Senator Inhofe worked closely with his Senate EPW colleagues to ensure quick passage of this important bill for Oklahoma and the nation. This WRDA bill is similar to the one passed last year when Senator Inhofe was EPW Chairman.
“In passing WRDA today, the Senate took a significant step forward in improving our nation's water resource needs,” Senator Inhofe said. “The WRDA bill provides Oklahoma with numerous project authorizations and policy improvements that are vital to the state and the nation’s economy, public safety and environment.”
OKLAHOMA PROVISIONS INCLUDED IN THE WRDA BILL:
TITLE III – PROJECT RELATED PROVISIONS -- §§3096-3102
- Arcadia Lake – The City of Edmond has been in dispute with the Corps of Engineers over whether the city owes additional money as interest on water payments. The WRDA bill clarifies that the city is not liable for interest during the period when the city was not exercising its future water use water supply from Lake Arcadia saving the City nearly $10 million.
- Lake Eufaula – The WRDA bill creates a lake advisory committee that will allow citizens to give recommendations to the Corps regarding the operations of the lake and authorize a reallocation study.
- Lake Texoma – Local plans for further recreational development on land previously conveyed to the State of Oklahoma by the Corps of Engineers at Lake Texoma are being hindered by reversionary interest language included in that conveyance. The WRDA bill would remove the reversionary interest language, thereby allowing local development plans to move forward.
- Oklahoma Lake Demonstration - The WRDA bill creates a program in Oklahoma that would encourage recreational development on Corps lakes through public-private partnerships.
- Ottawa County, Tar Creek – The WRDA bill authorizes $30,000,000 to complete the relocation assistance for residents in the Tar Creek communities of Picher, Cardin, and Hockerville at risk from subsidence and environmental contamination.
- Red River Chloride Control Project – The WRDA bill clarifies that operation and maintenance of Oklahoma chloride control projects at the Red River will be at full federal expense. This is consistent with the operation and maintenance of chloride control projects in Texas for the past 20 years, and this project will enhance drinking water supply and agricultural irrigation in the area.
- Waurika Lake Project – The Corps of Engineers and the Waurika Project Master Conservancy District completed the lake and water transmission project in the 1980s. After completion of the lake, the Corps claimed it had undercharged the Conservancy District and has claimed various additional construction and administrative costs after the final cost and repayment schedules had been established. The WRDA bill clarifies that Conservancy District in Waurika is obligated to pay only the amount that was originally agreed to when the project was completed. Waurika Lake provides water supply to the communities of Comanche, Lawton, Duncan, Temple, Walters, Waurika, and several rural water districts.
TITLE V – ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE -- §5003
- $1,700,000 for sewer improvements and other water infrastructure projects for the City of Ada, Oklahoma.
- $10,000,000 for carrying out the Waste Water Master Plan and water related infrastructure for the City of Norman, Oklahoma.
- $1,000,000 for sewer and utility upgrades and water related infrastructure for Eastern Oklahoma State University in Wilburton, Oklahoma.
- $500,000 for arsenic program and water related infrastructure for the City of Weatherford, Oklahoma.
- $1,500,000 for water improvements and water related infrastructure for the City of Bethany, Oklahoma.
- $1,500,000 for water improvements and water related infrastructure for the City of Woodward, Oklahoma.
- $2,500,000 for water and sewer improvements and water related infrastructure for the Cities of Disney and Langley, Oklahoma.
- $3,300,000 for bayou restoration and water related infrastructure for the City of Durant, Oklahoma.
- $2,000,000 for improvements to water related infrastructure for the City of Midwest City, Oklahoma.
- $1,900,000 for water and sewer infrastructure improvements for the City of Ardmore, Oklahoma.
- $16,000,000 for water related waste water treatment related infrastructure projects for the City of Guymon, Oklahoma.
- $5,000,000 for water related infrastructure improvement projects at the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District, Altus, Oklahoma.
- $650,000 for the industrial park sewer infrastructure project in the City of Chickasha, Oklahoma.
- $275,000 for water testing facility and water related infrastructure development at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma.
- $2,500,000 for the waterline transport infrastructure project for the City of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
- $500,000 for water treatment infrastructure improvements for the City of Konawa, Oklahoma.
- $3,325,000 for water improvements and water related infrastructure for the City of Mustang, Oklahoma.
- $250,000 for waste water improvement infrastructure for the City of Alva, Oklahoma.
TITLE V – STATEWIDE COMPREHENSIVE WATER PLANNING -- §5023
- $6,500,000 to update the Oklahoma Statewide Comprehensive Water Plan administered by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to address statewide Oklahoma water resource needs and future planning.