The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned over the amount of earthquake activity in North Texas regions where hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” takes place.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been the victim of water or air contamination caused by fracking, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
August 24, 2016 – In a letter sent last Monday to the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), EPA Water Division Director William K. Honker said the agency is concerned with earthquake activity in the north part of the state because of its potential impact on public health and the environment, including underground drinking water sources. Honker cited 3 areas around the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area where the RRC actually shut down or severely restricted the injection volume of fracking wells.
“Seismic activity in these three areas substantially diminished in frequency and magnitude; however, earthquake events continue in other areas of North Texas, most notably, frequent events in and near the city of Irving in Dallas County,” the letter said.
There have been at least 82 earthquakes in Texas over the past year, according to Earthquake Track. However, this number does not specify which quakes were natural and which were induced.
EPA also criticized the Texas RRC for publicly denying scientific data linking hydraulic fracturing to earthquakes. In response to Honker’s letter, an RRC official said that a statement responding to a study which found an association between fracking and earthquakes in North Texas was taken out of context and misleading. In March, RRC spokeswoman Gaye Greever McElwain told Scientific American that a September 2015 commission ruling that a number of fracking wells were not contributing to seismic activity was “based on scientific data and evidence” that “determined the operators were not contributing to seismic activity.”
McElwain says the RRC “takes the issue of induced seismicity very seriously and has in place some of the most stringent rules.” However, her statement is not as strong as the EPA’s assertion that hydraulic fracturing can cause earthquakes, saying that special rules were implemented in 2014 to monitor wells in regions known to have seismic activity.
“As of July 1, 2016, the Railroad Commission has received 56 disposal well applications in areas of historic seismicity,” McElwain said. “Of these, 28 permits have been issued with special conditions, such as requirements to reduce maximum daily injection volumes and pressure and/or to record volumes and pressures daily as opposed to monthly.”
Do I Need a Fracking Lawyer?
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Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if your air or drinking water has been contaminated due to methane migration or other consequences of hydraulic fracking, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.