Every year about 50 bills concerning water issues are introduced in the state legislature. Although only a small number of these make it into law, it is important to every Oklahoman to be aware of the critical legal changes that affect our water quantity and quality. ACOG provides bill tracking and monitoring for its members.
With the completion of the Comprehensive Water Plan in 2012, even more changes are in store as the legislature and the people of Oklahoma wrestle with the implementation of the recommendations proposed in the Plan.
It was a quiet year on the legislative front. Only about 30 bills relating to water were introduced this year. Out of the 30, only four were signed by the Governor. Of these, the most significant bill is SB 809, a bill limiting oil and gas regulations by municipal entities. The bill can be found here.
John Harrington, P.G., CFM
Director, Water Resources Division
Allan Houser’s As Long As The Waters Flow, Oklahoma State Capitol
Recent House and Senate Bills
Environment and Natural Resources; modifying fee for waste disposal in underground injection wells. Emergency. Authored by Justice (Senate) and Pfeiffer (House). Signed by the Governor on May 8, 2015.
Oil and gas; prohibiting regulation by local entities. Emergency. Authored by Bingman (Senate) and Hickman (House). Signed by Governor May 29, 2015.
Environment and natural resources; adding person authorized to issue or deny certain permits under the Oklahoma Uniform Environmental Permitting Act; effective date. Authored by Calvey. Signed by the Governor on April 10, 2015.