According to Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of

Conservation Districts (OACD), this recommendation of eight more streams to come off the state’s 303(d) list shows that Oklahoma’s approach to non-point source pollution control, using voluntary, incentive based programs that work cooperatively with agriculture producers and other landowners instead of confronting landowners with additional regulations is working.

“Our efforts in the area of water quality are truly bearing fruit,” Pope said.  “If you look at the success we have had in Oklahoma and compare it to the results shown by other states, Oklahoma clearly has one of the best if not the best non-point source pollution reduction program in the country.  Last year alone, more than10 percent of the total amount of nitrogen reduced from water nation-wide was accounted for by reductions in Oklahoma and more than16 percent of all reductions in phosphorus nation-wide happened in Oklahoma.  When you compare these numbers with what other states were able to accomplish in non-point source pollution reduction, Oklahoma was one of the top five states in the Nation in total nutrient and sediment reduction.  That is a real testament to what we can accomplish when we are able to work cooperatively on these issues.”

The new streams removed from Oklahoma’s proposed 2010 303(d) list include Bull, Cloud, Dirty, and Elk Creeks in the eastern central part of the state; Mission Creek in north central Oklahoma; and Cooper, Dugout, and Little Wewoka Creeks in central Oklahoma.  New data show these streams have improved from impacts from one or more issues such as turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and bacteria.  Final determination by EPA on the de-listing of these streams is expected later this spring.