Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Groups demonstrate at Oklahoma Capitol over ongoing earthquake swarm

Environmentalists and consumer advocates rallied at the state Capitol on Tuesday, challenging the way regulators and state leaders have addressed the state's ongoing earthquake swarm.
The group protested Senate Bill 809, which last year limited the ability of communities and counties to regulate oil and natural gas production. Speakers also said the ongoing earthquake swarm has caused significant damage to homes and businesses throughout much of the state.
"We're talking about hundreds of events, not just one single event," said Lisa Griggs, a representative from the Logan County Coalition Against Induced Seismicity. "It's a cumulative effect."
Griggs said her home has experienced more than $100,000 in damage from earthquakes, including tiny cracks in the cinder-block foundation and mortar separated from brick around her home.
The event was sponsored and led by Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City.
Following the rally, Sierra Club Conservation Committee chairwoman Kim Bartlett delivered a petition to Gov. Mary Fallin, asking her to take more direct action on the earthquake issue.
"We would like the governor to know that Oklahomans want her to personally engage on the issue — not to simply pass it off to a state agency," Bartlett said.
Gov. Fallin said she and state regulators have addressed the earthquakes by shutting in 90 disposal wells and reducing disposal volumes an additional more than 250 wells.
"I understand Oklahomans' concerns about earthquakes. That's why I created the Governor's Council on Seismic Activity in 2014," Fallin said in a statement Tuesday. "It has brought together regulators, researchers and industry representatives who have helped us get a handle on rising seismicity, allowing the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to take steps to control risk factors."
Chad Warmington, president of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association, said Tuesday that the energy industry is working with regulators and researchers to address the earthquake swarm.
“Everyone is working together to find answers to this very complex situation,” Warmington said. “Continued funding for research and continuing collaboration among regulators and oil and gas companies are crucial to finding solutions to these events and keeping the oil and gas industry a vital part of Oklahoma's economy.”
An Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman said the commission has taken more than 25 actions over the past three years to address the earthquakes.
The commission's latest directives include four phases of curtailing disposal volumes throughout central and northwestern Oklahoma. The fourth stage in the northwest plan will be completed at the end of April, and the final phase for the central area is scheduled for the end of May.

You may also like:

No comments :

Post a Comment