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Regulations on drainage issues need updating, state planners told

May 19, 2023  By Doug Thompson, Arkansas Democrat & Gazette

WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. — Local standards for managing water runoff need updating to handle the growth in Northwest Arkansas, state planners from Arkansas and Oklahoma were told Tuesday.

Those state planners do not have authority to regulate things like stormwater runoff, said organizers of a public forum held Thursday to update the Illinois River watershed management plan. Audience members acknowledged this but expressed doubts voluntary efforts could control flooding problems.

“The biggest issue is that whenever you bring up stormwater problems, the response always is, ‘We did it by the book,’ and the book is outdated terribly,” said James Simpson of Cave Springs, a farmer who said his land suffers from flooding as land around it developed. Current construction standards for drainage issues cannot handle the runoff as Northwest Arkansas develops, he and others said. Every new housing subdivision or other development increases the runoff, he and others said. | READ MORE


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