Here's a novel idea: if your local extraction industry is causing hundreds of earthquakes, make them stop doing whatever it was that was causing the earthquakes.
That's exactly what the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission did yesterday, when its members voted to shut down a fracking fluid disposal well and ban the drilling of new ones. The Associated Press explains:
Those wells are near a fault system that has spawned dozens of earthquakes this year. A magnitude-4.7 earthquake in February near Greenbrier was the most powerful to hit the state in 35 years.
After two of the four stopped operating in March, there was a sharp decline in the number of earthquakes. In the 18 days before the shutdown, there were 85 quakes with a magnitude 2.5 or greater, but there were only 20 in the 18 days following the shutdown, according to the state Geological Survey.
So, yah, shutting those wells down was probably the right choice.
Get Grist in your inbox