AZLE, Texas (AP) — Many residents who attended a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss a series of minor earthquakes in North Texas left frustrated, saying officials did not address their questions and concerns.
Authorities are trying to determine what’s been causing the earthquakes in an area about 20 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Officials recorded more than a dozen small quakes in November and several more in December.
Azle Mayor Alan Brundrett and others at the meeting at Azle High School told officials they believe the earthquakes are related to injection wells used in the hydraulic fracturing or fracking process.
The meeting was hosted by Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter, whose agency regulates oil and gas operations in the state.
Residents at the meeting grew frustrated after officials told the crowd of about 800 people that they were only going to listen to comments and not answer any questions.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, one of the officials at the meeting, told KDFW-TV in Dallas that they didn’t answer questions at the meeting because it would have taken too long.
Geren said he’s pleased the railroad commission is working with geologists to find answers to some of the questions that residents have. But many of the residents at the meeting left after about an hour, saying their questions weren’t answered.
“I truly believe this was a dog and pony show,” one of the residents, Kevin Wilson, said.
Porter declined to speak with reporters after the meeting.
Milton Rister, executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission, told KTVT-TV of Dallas that the agency will give Azle’s mayor a full investigation and that it’s all part of “a process” that includes listening to residents.
No timeline was given for how long the investigation would take.