Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Oklahoma, Felt in 5 States

Popular
5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Oklahoma, Felt in 5 States

Early this morning, a record-tying 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Pawnee, Oklahoma, producing rattles from Nebraska to North Texas. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake hit within the vicinity of an area where regulators intervened earlier this year to limit wastewater disposal produced from fracking. Today's earthquake prompted state regulators to shut down 37 wastewater-disposal wells.

The disposal of wastewater produced from fracking, has led to the alarming increase of earthquakes with magnitude-3 or larger by nearly 300 times, or 30,000 percent in north-central Oklahoma alone. In 2014, more than 5,000 earthquakes were reported.

Earlier this year, the Sierra Club and Public Justice filed suit against four of the primary culprits for wastewater disposal, citing that it causes an "imminent and substantial endangerment" to public health and the environment in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

On Sept. 7, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club will be hosting an event—"Earthquakes and Wastewater Disposal"—with the American Chemical Society in Tulsa, Oklahoma, less than an hour from the site of today's earthquake. The public event will present the facts concerning the relationship between fracking produced wastewater disposal and the large number of earthquakes in the state.

"It's heartbreaking to see what has happened in my beloved home state, and I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone here in Oklahoma, and those from Texas to Nebraska who suffered and were rattled by this morning's earthquake," Sierra Club Oklahoma chapter director Johnson Bridgwater said.

"Oklahomans, like all Americans, deserve the security and comfort of knowing that their homes will not crumble around them due to corporate malfeasance. The oil and gas industry, Governor Fallin and our state legislature must stop putting polluters' profits over its citizens safety and well-being, and take swift and immediate action to end this epidemic."

An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wildfire burns in the Hollywood hills on July 19, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Wisdom is seen with her chick in Feb. 2021 at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Jon Brack / Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr / CC 2.0

Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.

Read More Show Less
Wind turbines in Norway. piola66 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hui Hu

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.

Read More Show Less
Jaffa Port in Israel. theDOCK innovated the Israeli maritime space and kickstarted a boom in new technologies. Pixabay

While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.

Read More Show Less