Corporation Commission readies to release plan after 5.1 magnitude earthquake

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The state Corporation Commission will unveil a plan on Tuesday to address earthquakes on the western side of the state.

The plan calls for a large-scale reduction in oil and gas wastewater disposal, according to a press release, largely focusing on a 5,000 square mile area in western Oklahoma.

The OCC estimates more than 200 wells in the Arbuckle formation will be affected.

The plan comes on the heels of one of the state's largest earthquakes in history: a 5.1 magnitude shake centered in Fairview, about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

"My oil friends won't like this, but I think there's an obvious connection to fracking," said Fred Minter, despite not feeling Saturday's quake. "I mean, when you lead the nation in earthquakes, you ought to be a little concerned. I think it's a serious issue, and I think something needs to be done about it."

Still, others like Mike Hogan are not convinced the oil industry is to blame.

"Maybe it's just a natural occurrence of the earth," he said. "They've been doing the oil well stuff for all these years, and nothing's ever come of it."

The U.S. Geological Survey has blamed injection wells for the dramatic uptick in the state's earthquakes.

The OCC has already reduced the volume of disposal wells across the state.

Other safeguards now in place include seismicity reviews for all applications for disposal wells in the Arbuckles.

Permits are only good for six months, and the wells can be shut down at any time for concerns over earthquake activity.

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