The new GOP majority: Who needs environmental regulations? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The new GOP majority: Who needs environmental regulations?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 7:26 AM

click to enlarge NO REIMBURSEMENT: Agency head Randy Young defends fight against unpermitted dam at Clinton.
  • NO REIMBURSEMENT: Agency head Randy Young defends fight against unpermitted dam at Clinton.
Another telling bit of business at the Arkansas Capitol yesterday.

The state Natural Resources Commission is going to have to give up its fight against an unpermitted earthen dam built near Clinton because it paid a visit to the dam during a meeting that wasn't properly announced according to Freedom of Information Act rules.

For this, a Republican legislator, Rep. Josh Miller of Heber Sprngs, wants the builder of the unpermitted dam, which many see as a threat to Clinton's water supply, reimbursed for his attorney fees.

Randy Young, director of the Natural Resources Commission, says forget about it. Anybody who reads me closely knows I'm not president of the Natural Resources fan club, but Young is right here. The Army Corps of Engineers is moving against the unpermitted dam. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the case. As yet, the Arkansas legislature doesn't supersede these federal agencies on water protection oversight. (Though it keeps trying. See Rep. Andy Davis' nonsense in the 2013 session.)

Not to excuse the FOI violation. But 1) it was highlighted by a Legislative Audit report ginned up by the Republican SWAT team using Audit as a political tool and 2) the failure to notify the public of a dinner meeting of the Commision was in no way material to the facts — a fellow built a 30-foot earthen dam without permission in a floodway. It was seen as a hazard before, during and after the meeting and would have been so whether the public had been aware of the dinner or not. Sadly, had the public been invited (and anyone attended) the concern might have even been greater. Said Young:

“At the end of the day, without regard to the mistake we’ve made, or whatever, he is still in violation of state law as we sit here this afternoon,” Young said. “He still has an unpermitted dam located in the floodway and in violation of the Van Buren County flood plain ordinance, so, no, I don’t sense the need to reimburse him.”

Amen.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • I'm still not hopeful. Even with all the positive framing of the situation in the…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • No one should forget the role played by Republican Senator Shelby in the defeat of…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • Moore said he wont concede and that he must wait on God to check the…

    • on December 13, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation