The letter to Oklahoma’s three corporation commissioners is especially relevant because of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s pending appointment to head the EPA, Ziva Branstetter reports. “Pruitt would be in a position to alter the EPA’s request and position on induced seismicity in Oklahoma. Such an action would impact energy companies here that have partnered with Pruitt in lawsuits against the federal agency to roll back or halt environmental regulations.”
The letter from Ron Curry, administrator for the EPA’s Region 6, notes that Oklahoma has taken some measures to reduce injection of wastewater produced by oil and gas drilling but states additional measures should be taken.
“We believe further actions to address disposal well-related pressure buildup in the Arbuckle Formation are imperative to protect human health and to prevent contamination of underground sources of drinking water from induced earthquakes,” states Curry’s letter, dated Nov. 22.