Corporation Commission launches plan to decrease volume of disposal wells

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GUTHRIE, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has new guidelines for disposal wells in an area that stretches between Edmond and Guthrie.

It's become a common occurrence in Oklahoma. The state that stayed relatively still for decades, now seems to shake, rattle, and roll on a regular basis.

Many believe the culprit is hydraulic fracturing, due to the waste water disposal that follows.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is now focused on a small area that stretches from northern Oklahoma County into southern Logan County.

That area has seen a stark rise in Earthquakes recently registering higher than a 2.5 magnitude...from just two in 2012, to more than 250 so far this year.

Soon, more than 20 saltwater disposal well operators will receive a letter, informing them to reduce their daily disposal volume by 38 percent by October 2nd. The wells in question lie near the Arbuckle formation.

The reduction will be incremental, beginning with a 13 percent decrease by August 23rd.

Commissioner Dana Murphy released a statement Monday:

"I fully support going forward with a plan based on volume cuts, and am pleased to see a real beginning in that regard. This is an issue completely outside the scope of the experience of not only this agency, but all our partner agencies and stakeholders as well. There was a time when the scientific, legal, policy and other concerns related to this issue had to first be carefully researched and debated in order to provide a valid framework for such action.  That time is over. Based on the research and analysis of the data compiled, we must continue to take progressive steps, and do so as quickly as possible as part of the continuing efforts to resolve this complex and challenging issue."

The Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity will be meeting Tuesday at the State Capital.


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