EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) – The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed tightening regulations for injection wells as scientists explore a potential link between high-pressure wastewater disposal and the earthquakes rattling North Texas.
The oil and gas regulator’s newly hired seismologist, Dr. Craig Pearson, testified Monday before a Texas House subcommittee on seismic activity that earthquakes are regularly recorded, though at magnitudes too small to be felt.
He says the existing rules for injection wells were designed to protect against groundwater contamination, but not seismic activity.
The proposed rules include giving the Railroad Commission the authority to suspend or terminate permits for injection wells if they’re believed to be causing earthquakes.
A public comment period is open until Sept. 29.