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Energy and Environment

KCC Restricts Use Of Injection Wells For Salt Water Disposal

The Kansas Corporation Commission is restricting the use of injection wells for salt water disposal in Harper and Sumner Counties. The Kansas Sierra Club supports the action by saying the order is a response to the increased amount of earthquakes in the state. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

The order requires a total reduction of up to 60 percent in saltwater waste to be disposed into specific injection wells in areas of seismic concern.

The Kansas Sierra Club's Joe Spease says the increase in fracking by oil and gas companies has resulted in large quantities of waste fluids that require disposal into injection wells. Spease calls the action by the Kansas Corporation Commission a good first step.

"We’re concerned that we're too far down the path and, as the United States Geological Survey report says, these faults have now been reactivated," he says. "As long as any fluid is being injected into those wells it’s likely that the earthquakes will continue."

Spease says since January 2014, Kansas has experienced 113 quakes strong enough to require study by the Kansas Geological Survey.

The KCC says it’s unable to comment on a pending docket, but will amend the order as new information becomes available.