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LITTLE ROCK (CN) - Fracking by Chesapeake oil and Billiton Petroleum caused "thousands of earthquakes" that damaged homes in central Arkansas, two families claim in Federal Court.
Johnny and Patsy Miller and Christopher and Rebecca Krisell sued Chesapeake Operating and BHP Billiton Petroleum, claiming their fracking "caused thousands of earthquakes in mini-clusters and swarms in central Arkansas in 2010 and 2011," including Arkansas' largest earthquake in the past 35 years.
Both families live in Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock.
Source: Courthouse News
"Although some of this wastewater is recycled and reused, for the most part, it is disposed of by injecting it back into the ground into other wells commonly referred to as 'wastewater disposal injection wells,' 'disposal wells,' or 'injection wells.'"
Chesapeake owned and operated injection wells throughout Faulkner County, near Greenbrier, the families say.
The complaint claims that "scientists have known for half a century that disposal well operations will cause earthquakes. In fact, since the late 1960s scientists studying whether earthquakes and seismic activities can be induced by certain human actions have accepted that induced seismic activity can and does occur."
In 2010 and 2011, the quiet farming town of Greenbrier, Arkansas, was rattled by a swarm of more than 1,000 minor earthquakes. The biggest, with a magnitude of 4.7, had its epicenter less than 1,500 feet from Davis’s front porch. “This should not be happening in Greenbrier,” Davis recalls thinking. He said the shaking damaged the support beams under an addition to his home.
Then came another surprise: University of Memphis and Arkansas Geological Survey scientists said the quakes were likely triggered by the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as fracking – into deep, underground wells. That finding prompted regulators from the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission to order several wells in the area shut down, and the earthquakes soon subsided.
It also prompted Davis and more than a dozen of his neighbors to file five lawsuits in federal court against Chesapeake Operating Inc, as the owner in 2010 of two injection wells near Davis’ home, and BHP Billiton, which purchased Chesapeake’s shale gas assets in 2011.
Thanks for asking, we are still hanging in here, just waiting to see what's going to happen next in this state. The damage on the house gets worse day by day, but when it cracked the slab in more than one place and loosened the trusses where they are pulled over an inch or more away in places what else can you expect. It's not going to stabilize and stop moving now that it's cracked, have new buckles showing up in the floors that were not there and cracks in walls getting larger. All structural engineering reports and contractors won't guarantee any repair work for even 30 days, recommendation is to tear down and rebuild, so it's still a waiting game for a group that wants to claim they are not responsible when they have admitted they are. They just don't want to pay for the damage they caused and not just to us but others.