Department of Environmental Quality

U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

A top official at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality testified before a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday that climate change threatens water system infrastructure across the country. 

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is warning that there may be more health hazards in reopening businesses than just the coronavirus.

The department has issued guidelines for businesses that have been closed, or even just using less water than usual, due to the pandemic, urging them to flush taps to avoid using water that may have been tainted by corrosion or bacteria, like the kind that could cause Legionnaire's Disease.

Our guest is the veteran and award-winning Oklahoma journalist, John Wylie, former publisher of the Oologah Lake Leader. He recently wrote a blog post -- headlined "Mother Earth's Guardian Angel or Corporate Greed"s Satanic Shield?" -- about the controversy surrounding the now-under-consideration Senate Bill 1003, which would protect internal corporate environmental, health, and safety audits from public exposure or even court view.

Planning a trip to one of the state’s lakes, rivers, or streams this weekend? The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s Skylar McElhaney says they want you to have fun, but be cautious when swimming or boating in untreated waters. There are certain bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that could be harmful and cause anything from ear and eye infections to some forms of meningitis.

Suggestions to be safe include hold your nose or wear noseplugs when jumping into water, avoid swallowing water when swimming, and stay away from debris and storm drains.