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Upcoming legislative hearing on earthquake issue

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I suspect most readers still remember the sensation of feeling their first earthquake. For those of us who have spent a lifetime in Oklahoma, this experience occurred just three years ago. Since that time, we have encountered hundreds of quakes which are now taking place on a daily basis. The quakes occur so frequently that it is impossible to distinguish between pre- and aftershocks since the rumblings have merged into a continuous, ongoing action.

State Represenstative Jason Murphey

State Represenstative Jason Murphey

On June 26, I joined with State Representative Lewis Moore in hosting a town hall meeting at Waterloo Road Baptist Church. With 750 attendees, the turnout far exceeded our previous town hall meetings.

We wanted the voice of local residents to be heard and attendees to learn from officials from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission about the state’s new policies relating to the permitting of wastewater injection wells.

Many have become concerned after a correlation has been shown between seismic activity and wastewater injection. To address the issue, Governor Fallin approved new administrative rules which allow the Commission to take into account the proximity of these wells to fault lines before awarding a permit, and for real-time data monitoring of those sites which are already permitted.

These rules have taken effect since the time of the town hall meeting and state officials are now able to collect and analyze the data from the injection sites which share proximity with quakes. If that data shows a correlation, the state will be positioned to scale back the correlational injection activity.

Since that meeting, I am one of two representatives who has secured approval for a legislative hearing on this issue.

That hearing will take place on October 28th.

We will receive updated testimony from the Corporation Commission and the Oklahoma Geological Survey regarding the ongoing implementation of the new rules and the analytics of the new daa.

I have been impressed by, and appreciative of, the efforts of commission officials and their willingness to testify at the legislative hearing and the town hall meeting. They have responded to the unprecedented seismic activity with a deliberative but responsible professionalism and have answered every question.

Specifically, Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy has shown a strong interest in this subject. She attended the town hall meeting to hear the concerns of attendees, and plans to take part in the legislative hearing.

I have also appreciated the massive and overwhelming input from area residents. Your calls and emails have provided me with the standing to give public voice to your concerns.

Please continue to send your thoughts and concerns about this issue.

Thank you for reading this article. Your interest and input are much appreciated. Please do not hesitate to email Jason.Murphey@hd31.org with your thoughts and suggestions.

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