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Websites visited by State employees, earthquakes and Hwy 33 road construction

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Last week’s article regarding the top ten websites visited by state employees generated a significant amount of interest and became one of the most heavily visited articles at hd31.org. I should say, there’s more to the story than what was included in my article of last week, which may be viewed at hd31.org/670.

State Rep.  Jason Murphey

State Rep. Jason Murphey

Following the 2013 legislative hearing, which took note of a tremendous amount of what appeared to be non-work related Web browsing by state employees, reporter Randy Ellis penned an excellent article which explained the issue to the public. You can read the article at hd31.org/674. Ellis’ article would have a far-reaching impact, but I don’t think his impact was fully realized until just recently when we revisited this issue in another legislative hearing. Next week I will write about the findings of that hearing, fallout from the 2013 study, and resulting press coverage.

This last week was one of the worst for area residents in terms of the seismic activity originating in the south Guthrie area. Every few hours, residents are being subjected to the effects of the latest seismic swarm, including the Wednesday quake which measured 4.0.

As I have fielded calls and emails, I have directed those interested to listen to the legislative hearing which I conducted with State Representative Cory Williams a few weeks ago. Specifically, I encourage everyone to listen to a presentation by OSU Professor Todd Halihan. Halihan provides one of the best organized and most informative overviews of the seismic activity as it relates to the energy sector. In my view, this is a can’t miss presentation for those of us who continue to undergo the impact of the never-ending seismic swarms.

Specifically of interest are Halihan’s comments regarding the seismic risk and statistical probabilities for a damaging magnitude 5.5 or greater quake.

To find the documents and audio, visit hd31.org/673 and click on the IS 14-002 link. At that point you can view the documents submitted to the committee and listen to the audio from the hearing. Please be sure to send me your thoughts and questions – Jason.Murphey@hd31.org.

Also, as an important aside, I need to correct a fact that I got wrong in my previous article on the earthquake issue. In that article I stated that new Oklahoma Corporation Commission rules take into account for a proposed wastewater injection site’s proximity to a fault line prior to the award of a permit. In fact, this is a best practice being implemented by the Commission which is not yet codified into rule.

Finally, this week marks the beginning of the long-awaited construction in the HWY 33 and I-35 area. The rapid economic and business growth in this area has justified a comprehensive re-working of the area. For years, as the new businesses have opened, government leaders have known about the safety problems resulting from a series of curb cuts in the HWY 33 median for which drivers must fight for access and the ever-increasing amount of traffic which now exits the interstate.
This project perfectly represents the ideals of ODOT’s two plans: the Eight Year Construction Work Plan and the Asset Preservation Plan. I believe these two plans are fixing and upgrading Oklahoma roads and bridges according to the merits and need of the proposed projects and not according to politics. That’s a good omen for the north Oklahoma/south Logan county areas which are continuing to produce some of the most rapid growth in the state.

Thank you for reading this article. Your interest and input are much appreciated. Please do not hesitate to email Jason.Murphey@hd31.org with your thoughts and suggestions.

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