- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Several Oklahoma City residents are worried about an oil company’s desire to drill near Lake Hefner.

Residents attended the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust’s regular Tuesday meeting to offer their concerns about Pedestal Oil Co. Inc.’s proposal to drill for oil and natural gas. They’re worried about noise, safety and the possibility of spills into the lake, which provides drinking water for the city.

“This has become a lightning rod for our neighborhood in north Oklahoma City because the presence of an oil-drilling rig on the south shore of Lake Hefner seriously jeopardizes the quality of our water,” said Tim Kirk, 72.

He told trustees he thought the issue of any oil and gas development near the lake had been settled in 1995 when another company tried to drill near it, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1BYSauY ) reported. That proposal wasn’t permitted because it was too close to the watershed, he said.

City attorneys are still looking over Pedestal’s proposal. A message seeking comment was left with the oil company Wednesday.

Under the proposal, the company would pay the city trust a royalty rate of 21 percent. Proceeds would go toward improvements at Lake Hefner, Lake Stanley Draper and Lake Overholser.

A public comment meeting by the city’s utilities department is set for Thursday night at the Will Rogers Conservatory. Some residents expressed concern at the timing of the proposal.

“Just because we have a meeting a week before Christmas, we’re not trying to railroad anything through,” City Manager Jim Couch said.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com


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