Gov. Fallin Asks EPA to Restore Surplus Equipment Program

Gov. Mary Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin is calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to change a policy that prevents Oklahoma rural fire departments from receiving surplus military vehicles.

The agency and Pentagon officials recently announced they would discontinue providing the vehicles to firefighters because of the carbon emissions of the trucks.

Fallin submitted a letter Tuesday asking the agency to change the policy.

"Surplus military equipment has been essential to supporting the efforts of local fire departments, which are the first responders in 75 percent of all wildfires," Fallin said.

"The decision to terminate this successful program was clearly made without thought to the adverse effects to local firefighting efforts and the ability to protect the lives and property of our citizens."

The governor's office says rural fire departments are using almost 9,000 vehicles that were obtained through the surplus vehicle program.