The Fulton County Quorum Court passed a resolution Sept. 11 calling for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to remove all "extraordinary resource water" designations in the state.
The court did so to discourage the ADEQ's passing of the newly proposed change in regulation 2 regarding water quality standards in Arkansas. When the regulation was established in 1987, the department had stated that the designation of streams as extraordinary resource waters (ERW) would be considered temporary. Under the current proposal those designations would become permanent, giving the jurisdiction over these waters to the federal EPA.
When the designation of ERW is placed on a body of water, it carries restrictions on how the water and its surrounding watersheds may be used. The county's concern is that allowing for a permanent label would be forfeiting state power and ceding its jurisdiction to the federal government.
Fulton County joined numerous other Arkansas counties in passing resolutions opposing the designation. The ADEQ will continue taking input regarding the matter until Sept. 22.