Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Colorado Regulators Halt Fracking Wastewater Injection Operation After Earthquake Strikes Area For Second Time in One Month

Fracking

Thankfully, two earthquakes proved to be too many.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COOGC) has directed High Sierra Water Services to stop disposing wastewater into a Weld County injection well as a result of a 2.6 magnitude earthquake striking the area Monday morning, about five miles away from Greeley, CO, the Colorado Independent reported. The earthquake marked the second one in just one month.

Colorado regulators halted the operation of a wasterwater injection well after an earthquake struck the area for the second time in less than a month. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

High Sierra agreed to a 20-day halt after University of Colorado seismologists found evidence of low-level seismic activity near the injection site, including a 2.6-magnitude quake.

“In light of the findings of CU’s team, we think it’s important we review additional data, bring in additional expertise and closely review the history of injection at this site in order to more fully understand any potential link to seismicity and use of this disposal well,” COGCC Director Matt Lepore said.

To environmentalists, the connection between injection and earthquakes is as indisputable now as it was following the event on May 31.

"Better safe than sorry—injecting fracking wastewater has definitely caused earthquakes in other states and it could be the cause here too, so it's smart of COGCC to halt this activity," said Gary Wockner, an environmental activist based in Fort Collins, CO.

The COGCC will evaluate the baseline, historical seismic activity there, well injection rates, pressures and volumes and continue coordination with the team from Colorado University and the U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado Geological Survey. Other disposal wells in the area will also receive evaluation.

 There are more than 24,000 wells in Weld County. In the past 18 months, six cities with more than 400,000 citizens have approved fracking bans or moratoriums.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Moroccan patients who recovered from the novel coronavirus disease celebrate with medical staff as they leave the hospital in Sale, Morocco, on April 3, 2020. AFP / Getty Images

By Tom Duszynski

The coronavirus is certainly scary, but despite the constant reporting on total cases and a climbing death toll, the reality is that the vast majority of people who come down with COVID-19 survive it. Just as the number of cases grows, so does another number: those who have recovered.

In mid-March, the number of patients in the U.S. who had officially recovered from the virus was close to zero. That number is now in the tens of thousands and is climbing every day. But recovering from COVID-19 is more complicated than simply feeling better. Recovery involves biology, epidemiology and a little bit of bureaucracy too.

Read More Show Less
Reef scene with crinoid and fish in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Reinhard Dirscherl / ullstein bild / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

The future for the world's oceans often looks grim. Fisheries are set to collapse by 2048, according to one study, and 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year, causing considerable damage to delicate marine ecosystems. Yet a new study in Nature offers an alternative, and more optimistic view on the ocean's future: it asserts that the entire marine environment could be substantially rebuilt by 2050, if humanity is able to step up to the challenge.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A daughter touches her father's head while saying goodbye as medics prepare to transport him to Stamford Hospital on April 02, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. He had multiple COVID-19 symptoms. John Moore / Getty Images

Across the country, the novel coronavirus is severely affecting black people at much higher rates than whites, according to data released by several states, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Four rolls of sourdough bread are arranged on a surface. Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post / Getty Images

By Zulfikar Abbany

Bread has been a source of basic nutrition for centuries, the holy trinity being wheat, maize and rice. It has also been the reason for a lot of innovation in science and technology, from millstones to microbiological investigations into a family of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A coral reef in Egypt's Red Sea. Tropical ocean ecosystems could see sudden biodiversity losses this decade if emissions are not reduced. Georgette Douwma / Stone / Getty Images

The biodiversity loss caused by the climate crisis will be sudden and swift, and could begin before 2030.

Read More Show Less