Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: A regulatory hot potato for a potato producer in Minnesota; saving lives in Delaware with Narcan kits.
Some state and local news from around the nation ...
TULSA, Oklahoma: These days, seismic activity in north-central Oklahoma is not an unusual occurrance. Earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 and higher happen nearly daily and many pin an uptick in quakes on activities related to energy extraction. But that seismic uptick has been quite an uptick.
According to the Tulsa World:
Through April 2015, the seismically active region centered in Oklahoma has notched 468 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater. That figure is a leap of nearly 90 percent more than the 248 temblors of that strength experienced in the first four months of 2014, which went on to become the state’s most seismically active year by far, with 997 quakes.
The 2014 final figure was a leap of nearly 500 percent from 2013’s record total of 172 temblors of magnitude 3.0 or more.
Most of the Oklahoma quakes have been light to moderate, though a magnitude 5.6 quake hit the state in 2011 causing some damage and injuries. [Tulsa World; NewsOK]
RALEIGH, North Carolina: State lawmakers in North Carolina should have flexible summer plans. With the new fiscal year starting July 1 and the Tar Heel State budget unresolved, lawmakers are likely to be busy for the foreseeable future. "I'm in no hurry,” House Speaker Tim Moore told The Associated Press. Mark Binker of WRAL-TV’s @NCCapitol put it this way: “If writing a state budget were a football game, we would have just entered the fourth quarter with the score tied and the clock quickly ticking toward overtime.” Stay tuned. [AP; WRAL-TV]
BOISE, Idaho: In his previous employment, the new director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, John Tippets, worked for a fertilizer company that’s been under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitoring, Idaho Reports reports. Tippets tells the Idaho Public Television news blog that he will recuse himself from any agency discussions regarding the company, Agrium, which has been involved in 21 separate hazardous materials incidents around the nation. [Idaho Reports / Idaho Public Television]
PARK RAPIDS, Minnesota: State regulatory requirements are irking the world’s biggest potato producer. As the Grand Forks Herald reports, the R.D Offutt Co. is questioning the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ requirement for environmental assessment worksheets for water well permit applications. "I would say that the least amount of expansion in the state of Minnesota is the best for our company," the company’s chairman emeritus, Ron Offutt, tells the Herald. "There are other areas in the United States that are a lot friendlier to agriculture and agriculture production than the state of Minnesota is under its present situation." [Grand Forks Herald]
NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Delaware: Here’s an example of how law enforcement officers carrying Narcan kits can save the lives of people experiencing heroin overdoses. "As the Narcan program becomes more popular I think you will see other agencies wanting to be a part," Col. Elmer Setting of the New Castle County Police tells NewsWorks. "I think we can see more people in recovery." [NewsWorks / WHYY News]