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Texas Lawmakers Hold First Earthquake Hearing

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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AUSTIN (CBS 11 NEWS) - The new seismologist for the Railroad Commission of Texas hopes to know within a year what’s causing hundreds of earthquakes in Parker and Tarrant counties.

Operators of disposal wells though near the quakes epicenters, have not yet revealed detailed data of how much water they have been injecting into the ground in the area.

The testimony from Dr. Craig Pearson came during the new Seismic Activity Subcommittee in the Texas House. It’s the first time lawmakers have officially addressed the earthquakes which started in November 2013.

Researchers from SMU testified that the area had only one reported earthquake of magnitude 2.0 or greater before 2008. There have been 70 since. It is generally accepted, researchers said, that disposal wells and earthquakes are connected.

None of the committee members including Rep. Myra Crownover and Rep. Phil King recognized any connection during the hearing.

Other states including Arkansas and Ohio have taken action to stop drilling and disposal activities because of earthquakes. Milton Rister, executive director of the RRC, told the committee though that the economy of other states is not based as heavily on oil and gas as Texas.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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