Texas amends waste disposal rules for fracking

A drilling rig used for hydraulic fracturing is trucked across a water hose at a drill site Sept. 24, 2013, in Midland, Texas. The drilling method known as fracking uses huge amounts of high-pressure, chemical-laced water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
A drilling rig used for hydraulic fracturing is trucked across a water hose at a drill site Sept. 24, 2013, in Midland, Texas. The drilling method known as fracking uses huge amounts of high-pressure, chemical-laced water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Railroad Commission has amended rules for disposal well operators amid concerns that high-pressure injections can trigger earthquakes.

As of Nov. 17, disposal well operators must research U.S. Geological Survey data for a history of earthquakes within 100 square miles of a proposed well site before applying for a permit.

The commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, can also modify or rescind a well permit if scientists determine a well is likely contributing to seismic activity.

The amendments come as states grapple with how to respond to public anxiety over the risks of disposing of vast amounts of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Southern Methodist University seismologists are studying whether a disposal well in North Texas caused a series of small earthquakes earlier this year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s