President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 21, 2009
Sen. Ron Justice
SENATE APPROVES LANDMARK WATER BILL
Interests of Oklahomans Put First
In an effort to safeguard Oklahoma’s water
resources, the State Senate voted unanimously to support House
House Bill 1483 protects Oklahoma water resources
and the state’s ability to provide water to its citizens
in the future. Additionally, it requires legislative approval
before any water compacted to Oklahoma can be permitted for out-of-state
uses. Federal interstate compacts have been agreed to by the state
of Oklahoma and its neighboring states and have been approved
by Congress, which asserts Oklahoma’s claim to its waters.
President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee commended the
unanimous approval of this vital water legislation.
“The legislation passed today strengthens
our state and because our water supply is precious, safeguards
were needed to ensure its use for future generations,” Pro
Tem Coffee said.
Coffee added that HB 1483 restates existing law
providing legislative oversight pertaining to water decisions.
Justice, R-Chickasha, author of the bill and chairman of the
Senate Republican Rural Caucus, stressed the importance of protecting
Oklahoma’s water resources and commended the Legislature
for working together to solve a common problem and set goals for
the future of this state.
“Water is not only imperative to rural Oklahoma
but to our entire state as well,” said Justice. “The
unanimous stand we made today proves this accomplishment was a
team effort and the interests of Oklahomans were put first. Our
water will be protected for years to come.”
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, co-author of House
Bill 1483, said it was imperative that the Legislature do all
they could to protect Oklahoma’s water resources.
“We know the importance of Oklahoma water
and the positive economic impact it has on our state,” said
Bingman. “Oklahoma will now have more control of the protection
and distribution of its own water, which will help make us stronger
as a state.”
The state of Oklahoma is involved in a lawsuit with
Dallas and Tarrant County, Texas, who are now seeking a water
permit to access clean Oklahoma water. The lawsuit claims the
current statewide moratorium on out-of-state waters sales contradicts
the federal Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution. This
moratorium is set to expire in November with the trial currently
on the docket for December.
For more information contact:
Sen. Justice - (405) 521-5537