Environmental Protection Agency

The City of Fort Smith entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 after years-long violations of the Clean Water Act. According to the EPA, the city’s aging infrastructure allowed sewage to go into the Arkansas River. The consent decree requires the city make an estimated $480 million of sewer upgrades over the course of 12 years. City leaders are meeting with the EPA this week in Texas with hopes of renegotiating parts of the agreement.

City of Fayetteville

Fayetteville is one of 14 cities collaborating with the city of Chicago to conserve and make public EPA digital climate change information purged by the Trump administration on Earth Day. The web portal, titled "Climate Change is Real," was launched by the city of Chicago in early May.


Picher, Oklahoma and the surrounding area is one of the few places in the country that has been left behind by its residents because it was deemed unsafe to live in. The lead and zinc mining that drew in a population of 16,000 at the height of the mining boom before World War II is also what led to the town's deliberate demise. The decades of mining from the early 1900s to the late 1960s left behind millions upon millions of tons of chat piles. Chat is mine waste that was left behind after the lead and zinc ores had been extracted.

courtesy ADEQ

In early August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its final Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s power sector by 870 million tons over the next 15 years. Under the plan, states must develop compliance rules, or deal with federal compliance control. Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Director Becky Keogh says the ADEQ is working with key stakeholders to accomplish that goal.

Jacqueline Froelich

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new water quality modeling program for the Illinois River Watershed which spans northwest Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma. Portions of the river are impaired. But after years of conflict, Arkansas and Oklahoma are now cooperating to clean it up.