“This we know, the Earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected, like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” – Chief Seattle
The Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) has taken the leading regional role in environmental issues and considerations, as well as addressing economic development for its member governments since its inception in 1969. It serves its members as a regional planning agency, as well as a forum for intergovernmental cooperation, partnerships, and coordination actions.
As a Charter Member of the Environmental Partnership Committee, ASCOG has led the way in addressing environmental issues of mutual interest and concern which are applicable to residents of the ASCOG Region. ASCOG led in addressing regional solid waste management alternatives; regional composting and recycling initiatives; mutual aid agreements supporting HAZMAT response to outlying areas of the region; identification and provision of “hands-on” environmental training for member organizations; and the establishment of “partnerships” as a common-sense solution to maximizing available resources, sharing expertise, “brain-storming” alternatives, and developing cost effective solutions to environmental issues.
“Conservation is a way of living and an attitude that humanity must adopt if it wants to live decently and permanently on earth”. – Paul Bigelow Sears
Consistent with this leadership role, ASCOG has fostered implementation of the Air Quality Alert (AQA) Program for a large segment of the area (25 mile radius around Lawton/Fort Sill); they have implemented a successful reuse program for lagoon sludge through their Biosolids partnership with ODEQ and the Department of Agriculture. Their Brownfields Site Identification/Mitigation program is an on-going effort to identify, mitigate, and reutilize previously contaminated sites within the Region.
Environmental Justice considerations are included in all aspects of program activity under the leadership of the ASCOG staff; inclusion of representation from low income and minority groups in the planning and decision making process ensures equitable consideration of minority group issues and concerns.
The ASCOG focus on environmental protection, pollution prevention, waste management, site mitigation and reutilization, and environmental education are program components essential to a successful Environmental Stewardship Program.
Environmental Stewardship involves the “management and care of our environment”. This includes natural, cultural, historical and archaeological resources that are nonrenewable resources that enhance our lives.
Natural Resources refers to land and water and their associated vegetation and wildlife. This includes the protection of “endangered species” of aquatic and land animals and plant species currently in danger of extinction or endangerment in the foreseeable future. Water is one of the most significant natural resources used in industry and the home; Environmental legislation has the objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.
Maintaining clean air involves the prevention of new sources of pollution, as well as the reduction or elimination of pollutant emissions from existing sources. The goal is “to protect and enhance the quality of the Nation’s air resources so as to promote public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population….”
Environmental Stewardship encompasses giving immediate priority to sustained compliance, restoring previously contaminated sites as quickly as resources permit, focusing efforts on proactive pollution prevention to reduce or eliminate pollution at it’s source, and conserving and preserving natural and cultural resources for present and future generations to use.
It is our intent to provide Regional residents, Committee Members, and Stakeholders the opportunity to view and evaluate the ASCOG environmental initiatives, and provide each individual the option to select information most meaningful to their respective interests.
Finally, these web-pages are provided for you, the viewer, to obtain current information which will assist in making decisions relative to prioritizing Brownfields sites, addressing Environmental Education and training needs, participating in the Air Quality Alert Program, and providing a better understanding of the Biosolids Removal and Beneficial Reuse Program partnership.
We solicit your comments, recommendations, and thoughts for improvement of our web-site, and the level and quality of information we provide!