Wednesday, October 14, 2015

U.S. EPA Recommends Further Actions Addressing Induced Seismicity Risk in Annual Performance Evaluation of Oklahoma’s UIC program

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an annual performance evaluation of Oklahoma’s Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC) program to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) for the fiscal year 2014.

As stated in the evaluation, “EPA recommends that OCC implement additional regulatory actions to assure protection of Underground Sources of Drinking Water . . . including further reduction of injection volumes into the Arbuckle disposal formation in seismically active areas.” EPA also suggested “further assessment and mapping of the Arbuckle Formation, including its ability to transmit increased pore pressure to basement rock, and the presence or absence of vertically confining strata between the Arbuckle and basement rock.”

Already in early August 2015, OCC released an Oil and Gas Disposal Well Volume Reduction Plan in response to earthquake activities that occurred in July in Northern Oklahoma.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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