Oklahoma earthquakes

Arkansas Frackquake Victims Commiserate With Oklahomans As Fracking Wastewater Injection Continues, Risking Deadly Earthquakes

Read time: 8 mins

There is a general consensus in Oklahoma that the record-breaking number of earthquakes occurring in the state are caused by the disposal of fracking wastewater in injection wells. But there’s no agreement on what to do to stop them.

We are human guinea pigs in a fracking industry experiment,” Angela Spotts, founder of Stop Fracking Payne County and a Stillwater, Oklahoma homeowner, told DeSmog. “Regulators tell us they can get the earthquakes under control as they tinker with the quantity that wastewater wells are allowed to inject into the ground. But despite their efforts, the quakes have continued.” 

Spotts’ group has called for a moratorium on injection wells that dispose of fracking wastewater. “Shutting the wells down stopped the earthquakes that hit Arkansas. That is what we need to do here too,” Spotts said. 

Fracking Industry-Linked Earthquakes in Oklahoma Crack Political Party Lines

Read time: 10 mins

Sara Winsted, a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, an upscale Oklahoma City suburb, won’t be surprised if her house falls down before state legislators take action to stop the earthquakes. 

Her feeling of hopelessness intensified after she attended two public meetings: a town hall organized by State Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond, and a public hearing at the state capitol in Oklahoma City led by State Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-OKC).

Though the U.S. Geological Survey has determined the use of fracking wastewater disposal injection wells is the cause of the state’s earthquakes — and predicted a magnitude 5.5 or greater quake is probable — the use of disposal injection wells continues.

Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact

Read time: 6 mins

January has been a shaky month for Irving, Texas. Twelve earthquakes rattled the city during a 48-hour period at the end of the first week of the new year.

“It was very scary. I was at my job on the 4th floor in a cubicle surrounded by glass,” Tonya Rochelle Tatum, a loan specialist who works in Irving, told DeSmogBlog. “One quake seemed like it lasted five minutes. No one knew what to do.”

The earthquake swarm shows no sign of stopping. On January 21, five more quakes struck.

The quakes are relatively small, all of them registering under 4 on the Richter Scale. None has caused significant damage to property or resulted in bodily harm — but that hasn’t stopped people from worrying about their personal safety and property.  

A Dallas suburb, Irving sits atop the Barnett Shale, a geologic formation rich in natural gas. Seismic activity is not something the region is known for, and the fact that the earthquakes are now in the news has many fearing their home values will drop.

Residents want to know what is causing the quakes, the likelihood they may increase in size and if anything can be done to stop them. A public meeting held January 21 by city officials to address the earthquakes and other issues overflowed the 250-person capacity of the Irving Arts Center.

“Everywhere they’re fracking they have earthquakes,” someone in the audience yelled out, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Subscribe to Oklahoma earthquakes