U.S. drilling states, including Colorado, guided on handling quakes

Earthquake Fault Diagram - Courtesy USGS

Earthquake Fault Diagram – Courtesy USGS

New report describes, among other things, public-relations strategies for dealing with earthquakes related to fracking

By Julie Carr Smyth – The Associated Press – September 28, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of U.S. drilling states, seismologists, academics and industry experts issued guidance Monday in a frank new report on handling human-induced earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing or the disposal of fracking wastewater.

The 150-page report, produced by the StatesFirst initiative, represents perhaps the most candid discussion on the topic since tremors across the mid-continent — including in Oklahoma, Texas,Colorado and Ohio — began being linked to fracking and deep-injection wastewater disposal around 2009.

It includes descriptions of how states handled various seismic incidents around the country, including their public relations strategies, and matter-of-factly references links between fracking or deep-injection wastewater disposal and earthquakes. Previously, public admissions had been fuzzy in some cases.

The group stopped short of suggesting model regulations, however.

That’s because each state’s laws and geography are unique, Ohio Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers, who co-chaired the effort, told The Associated Press. The report says “a one-size-fits-all approach would not be an effective tool for state regulators.”

Simmers said the report is in the form of a primer, providing states with up-to-date scientific and technical data, case studies and several suggested approaches for detecting and managing the quakes.

Continue reading story at The Denver Post

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