Mullin (copy)

Markwayne Mullin said better access to mental health and addiction treatment is the answer to violence, not general restrictions on gun ownership. Tulsa World file

Before leaving Washington on the August recess, 1st District Congressman Kevin Hern introduced legislation he said will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to communicate impending danger to the public earlier.

Hern said current law allows the Corps to issue emergency communications only when actual rainfall has created a threat. Hern’s proposal would require such communications based on National Weather Service forecasts.

The legislation was prompted by spring flooding in Hern’s district and throughout eastern Oklahoma.

“I spoke with people in our community, met with officials from FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, emergency responders, and city leaders to determine what went wrong and how we could better prepare for floods like this in the future. It was clear that communication paths needed a fix,” Hern said in a press release.

EPA: Former Tulsan Ken McQueen was named director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6, which includes Oklahoma.

Most recently, McQueen was New Mexico’s secretary for minerals, energy and natural resources. He previously was a high-ranking officer for Williams and WPX, worked for Vintage Resources and Amerada Hess and was an adjunct professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Tulsa.

Behavioral health: Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin touted his mental health bill in the wake of last weekend’s shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Mullin said better access to mental health and addiction treatment is the answer to violence, not general restrictions on gun ownership.

“It’s time for all of us to work together to address the mental health crisis in our country and stop violence before it happens,” Mullin said in a constituent newsletter.

Dots and dashes: U.S. Senator James Lankford has co-authored disaster aid legislation that would require state and local government to have advance contracts for debris removal. ... Oklahoma native Bart Fischer, a former policy advisor to 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas on the House Agriculture Committee, is the new director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M.

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Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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