A representative with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says they are ready to prepare a consent order that could possibly leave a potential $10,000 daily fine on Logan County. However, the Logan County Board of County Commissioners heavily contest they do not have any means to enforce DEQ regulations.
“The way I take, DEQ wants me to turn around and do their job,” District 3 County Commissioner Monty Piearcy said.
The full conversation can be viewed in the video following this article.
The two entities have discussed the Storm Water Management Plan for over a year. County officials continue to stress that they do not have planning, zoning and or other regulations when it comes to inspection codes and permits. If a business or homeowner wants to construct a home or building they do not have to contact the County for any services except for a land deed.
However, DEQ continues to say the County must start managing storm water pollution in the urbanized areas of the county, which was only identified as small select area (approximately 30 miles of the county’s 756 square miles). The map supplied by DEQ does not outline the road names, but appears to go as far east as Midwest Blvd and west to Santa Fe primarily along Waterloo Road and up two miles to Charter Oak Road.
DEQ would require the County to inform citizens on prevention with marketing tools, locating possible infractions, logging all the required information and turning over the findings to DEQ for possible enforcement.
“What you ask us to do is to enforce an urbanized water management program in an unincorporated portion of our county,” District 1 Commissioner Marven Goodman said. “Urbanized water management programs normally are the jurisdiction of a metropolitan organization, city or township. Unincorporated portion of counties don’t care. That’s why they’re unincorporated.”
In addition of DEQ wanting to require Logan County to enforce DEQ regulations, DEQ is requiring the County to pay nearly $900 in permits annually.
“You want us to pay you $950 to do your job. I’m not going to do it,” Piearcy said.
County Clerk Troy Cole says Logan County does not have the parameters in place to completely overlook the county.
“We’re not saying DEQ can’t do their job, we are saying the mandates that DEQ is putting on Logan County and the cost that it will incur for us to avoid a $10,000 a day fine is absolutely ridiculous,” Cole said.
The DEQ representative suggested the County perhaps create and fund a position of a county code enforcer. However, Piearcy quickly stated he has limited resources for his district.
“I have an M&O (maintenance and operations) account. For this month, I got to $2,050 to maintain 600 miles. I am not going to spend any of my money to do DEQ’s job. If DEQ wants to come and do their job so be it. I recommend they do it,” Piearcy said.
After about a 20 minute discussion, the agenda item died due to a lack of a motion.
As the DEQ representative was leaving the meeting she informed the commissioners they will move forward with a consent order and the potential $10,000 per day fine for violation.
Turns out a State Representative was in the audience
As the DEQ representative and the BOCC were discussing their agenda item, State Representative and Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) was sitting on the front row and taking in the whole conversation.
After his agenda item he told the BOCC, “On a totally unrelated note, I’ll talk you later on that DEQ issue. That’s crazy.”
In his biography page it states, “In 2012, Jon was elected to represent House District 90 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He ran as a strong advocate for limited government and small business and has delivered on those campaign promises.”