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Earthquakes have become more common in places where once they were rare. They are occurring sometimes multiple times per day in areas of Oklahoma and southern Kansas. There is now compelling evidence tying this increased seismic activity to hydraulic fracturing activities throughout the Sooner State and southern Kansas.
Hydraulic fracturing — “fracking” — is a controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique. It involves mixing and pressurizing massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals, then injecting them deep underground.
The injected mixture strikes targeted rock formations with enough force to split them open. This releases trapped deposits of oil and natural gas, which the fracking companies then extract, refine and sell.
The process also generates large amounts of wastewater. The fracking companies use high pressure to inject the wastewater into deep wells.
The injected wastewater mixture can destabilize the earth beneath your town and your property, particularly along fault lines. The result: earthquakes.
In Oklahoma alone, geologists expected the number of recorded earthquakes in 2015 to exceed 6,000. In 2014, there were more than 5,000 temblors.
But there were fewer than 200 Oklahoma earthquakes in any year prior to 2009, the same year volumes of fracking wastewater injection dramatically increased in the state.
Those numbers demonstrate that the more fracking wastewater disposal there is, the more earthquakes there are. The cause and effect is clearly linked, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Earthquakes Caused By Fracking Wastewater Disposal Damage Your Property
It doesn’t take a large earthquake to cause damage to your home, retail establishment or commercial building. Even mild tremors can do harm, if they happen often enough.
The structures most vulnerable to quake damage caused by fracking-related activities are those that lack adequate reinforcement. However, in some instances even well-reinforced structures can be damaged.
Damage from seismic activity can include:
- Cracks in foundations and walls
- Ruptures of underground pipes
- Buckling of sidewalks and driveways
- Land subsidence (cave-ins, sinkholes)
Oil and Gas Producers Choose To Be Irresponsible
Fracking companies know that their fracking wastewater disposal is causing seismic activity in Oklahoma and Kansas. Yet, they have not reduced or ceased wastewater injection operations to prevent further seismic activity and resulting property damage.
This gives rise to potential liability on the part of the fracking companies. It also may give you a right to compensation for the damages fracking wastewater disposal causes to your property.
To understand your rights to compensation — to be paid money by the fracking companies to put you back in your rightful position — you need to talk to an attorney.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at (844) 476-4263. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.