Kansas Official Links Quakes to Wasterwater Disposal

January 20, 2015

A state group says a steep increase in earthquakes in south-central Kansas likely is caused by the disposal of wastewater from an oil and gas extraction process often called fracking.

The state recorded more than 120 earthquakes last year, up from zero in 2012. State officials have hesitated to link the earthquakes to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Kansas Geological Survey officials said last week there is a strong correlation between the earthquakes and the waste disposal. But they stressed the link is with the waste disposal, not with the extraction process itself.

Joe Spease, of the Kansas Sierra Club, says that’s just semantics. His group supports a moratorium on fracking until the oil and gas industry develops a plan for disposing of the wastewater.

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