Edmond earthquake town hall leaves attendees unsatisfied

Residents worried about the spate of earthquakes that have plagued parts of Oklahoma likely got little satisfaction Thursday night at a town hall on the subject, as experts said there is no way to know their cause.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: June 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm •  Published: June 26, 2014
Edmond town hall meeting

 Residents worried about the spate of earthquakes that have plagued parts of the state likely got little satisfaction Thursday night at a town hall on the subject.

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland said there is no way to know what has caused the unprecedented increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma, although several studies have linked temblors to oil and natural gas activity, particularly wastewater injection wells.

The first question posed during the meeting’s question-and-answer session was why such activity has not been halted, but Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said state law does not support such a unilateral move.

He said regulators must have legal justification before shutting down an injection well.

Holland said stopping the use of injection wells, which pump water deep underground, would not be recommended from a scientific standpoint because that would rob researchers of valuation data that could help them figure out how to prevent earthquakes.

He also said that would halt production of oil and natural gas, an assertion that drew an angry-sounding rumble from the crowd at Waterloo Road Baptist Church.

Several hundred people overfilled the church’s sanctuary and parking lot.

Dozens of attendees lined up during the event to ask questions, many of which were hostile toward the oil and gas industry.

A large percentage of people in the pews indicated they had been awoken about 12:30 a.m. Thursday by a magnitude 3.5 quake north of Edmond.

“What is happening is frightening,” Skinner said. “I’m not here to put it any other way.”

He said many of the commission’s employees live in areas that have been rattled by earthquakes, so they are trying to address the issue.

“The search for answers is very, very real, and it’s very, very personal,” Skinner said.

Edmond town hall meeting3

Edmond town hall meeting1

Related news:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s