Oklahoma commissioner’s plan to shut down all wastewater disposal wells denied

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LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. - A Logan County commissioner is taking action after Oklahoma’s record breaking earthquake.

He wants to avoid having another large earthquake in the area.

Logan County was one of the first areas that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission addressed.

After activity at waste water disposal wells was reduced, the amount of earthquakes went down.

However, that is not enough for District 1 Commissioner Marven Goodman.

He said Pawnee’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake was a wake up call.

"Woke us all up here in Logan County literally that morning, that Saturday morning. It shook our house pretty hard," Goodman said.

It also shook his thoughts.

"We got some historic buildings in Guthrie that's been there since Oklahoma was a state and a five and above earthquake in that vicinity would be devastating to our community," Goodman said.

Goodman said he is asking the OCC to protect his community.

"I asked them to shut down the wells in my district until we can have a seismic study at depth," Goodman said.

Now, he is going a step farther.

At Thursday morning’s meeting, he says he will ask his counterparts to pass a resolution that asks the OCC to immediately suspend operations at all county disposal wells.

"If we do a study and find out that there are no fault lines that can produce a 5.0 or better earthquake in the area than fine, let's inject away. But until that time, I think we should tread lightly," Goodman said.

The owner of one of the county’s disposal wells is upset over the request.

He sent the following in a statement to NewsChannel 4.

“The oil field can't operate without any saltwater disposals. Wells would have to be shut in, trucking company's would have major layoffs, roustabouts with no wells to service, well service company's, on and on, the list is endless. My Seismic Data is on file, the Geologist reports and references to the fault line are on file at the OCC! There is nothing to evaluate or address that hasn't already been addressed and is public information at the Oklahoma Corporation Commissions Office, this would be redundant,” replied Terry Doll.

The commissioner does not see it that way and says something must be done.

"We are dealing with a lot of people's livelihoods," Goodman said.

The OCC said it will comment on the request if commissioners pass the resolution.

Update: Commissioners did not pass the resolution to temporarily shut down Guthrie's injection wells. KFOR's Lorne Fultonberg is working to gather more information.

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