Oklahoma experienced heightened earthquake activity in January, with more than 130 earthquakes registering magnitudes of 2.5 or higher on the Richter Scale. These earthquakes have left behind property damage and also knocked out the local power supply, leaving residents wondering why the state government cannot gain control of the problem. According to two oil and gas lawsuits, more than a dozen oil and gas companies are at the root of the problem due to their disposal of drilling waste in Oklahoma wells.
A geologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Jeremy Boak, explained that in January alone, Oklahoma experienced seven earthquakes that registered a magnitude of at least 4.0 within three weeks. That is the equivalent of about one-fourth of similar earthquakes that occurred in the entire year of 2015. He described the activity as “pretty intense right now.”
Government & Public Concern
With these obvious increases in earthquakes, public concern is also growing. People are worried about the risk to not only property, but also the residents, as well as the possibility of a bigger, more destructive earthquake in the near future. Republican and Democratic state representatives recently held public forums, agreeing that new legislation is necessary on the issue of drilling waste disposal. Energy regulators are as concerned as the public.
Number of Lawsuits Rising
Four lawsuits have been filed on the oil and gas issue in Oklahoma, all claiming energy companies as defendants, however none of the cases have made it to the hearing stage yet. The Sierra Club also intended to file a lawsuit alleging that four energy companies violated the Resource and Recovery Act, which is the federal waste management rule. The letter of intention claimed that the companies injected and disposed of waste fluids into wells in Oklahoma, contributing to a phenomenal increase in the amount and severity of earthquakes in Oklahoma and southern Kansas.
The substantial endangerment of health of the people in Oklahoma, as well as the environment, is something to be concerned about. When we ruin the planet we live on, it is nearly impossible to fix the damage that has been done. If you are considering pursuing an oil or gas lawsuit in the state of Oklahoma, contact an experienced Oklahoma oil and gas law attorney to handle your claim. Robert R. Robles has more than 30 years of law and trial experience, and will fight to win the compensation you deserve.