Did ‘fracking’ play role in L.A. earthquake? Councilmen want to know by Emily Alpert Reyes, March 18, 2014, Los Angeles Times
Three Los Angeles City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in the earthquake that rattled the city early Monday morning. The motion, presented Tuesday by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin and seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks, asks for city departments to team up with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to report back on the likelihood that such activities contributed to the 4.4-magnitude quake. Earlier this year, the council voted to draft rules that would bar hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as “fracking,” acidizing and other kinds of well stimulation in Los Angeles until council members felt sure that Angelenos and the water they drink were safe from their effects. The risk of triggering earthquakes was among the dangers cited by Bonin and Koretz, who championed the move.
“All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events,’” the motion states. It added, “Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter” of the Monday quake.
“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion said.
“I think people are trying to take advantage of a naturally occurring incident in order to attack our industry,” California Independent Petroleum Assn. CEO Rock Zierman said Tuesday. He said it had been proven that “there’s no link between operations and seismic activity.” Seismologist Lucy Jones, a USGS science advisor for risk reduction, said she would need to know much more about nearby pumping in the area, such as whether someone was changing the water pressure deep in the ground, to say whether it could have been a factor in the Monday temblor. However, “my first impression is that sounds implausible,” Jones said, “just because the earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.” [Not in BC frac fields! Refer below. Emphasis added]
Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking Techniques? by Josh Harkinson, March 17, 2014, Mother Jones
The epicenter of today’s LA quake was eight miles from oil waste injection wells.
Was the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Los Angeles on Monday morning caused by fracking methods? It’s hard to say, but what’s clear from the above map, made by Kyle Ferrar of the FracTracker Alliance, is that the quake’s epicenter was just eight miles from a disposal well where oil and gas wastewater is being injected underground at high pressure. [Emphasis added]
City Council Orders Investigation Into Possible Connection Between Fracking, Seismic Activity by CBS Los Angeles, March 18, 2014
Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin introduced the motion, which was then seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks. The motion would direct city staff members from the city to work with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geotherman Resources (DOGGR), the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Coast Air Quality Management District in order to produce a report a report looking into whether a link may exist between fracking and the temblor.
The “Shamrock Shake”, so dubbed by some because it occurred at 6:25 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, is being called the strongest to “hit directly under the Santa Monica Mountains in the 18 years since seismic record-keeping began in the area,” according to some seismologists. Officials from the U.S. Geological Survey have said there has been a dramatic rise over recent years of “noticeable earthquakes” that exceed 3.0-magnitudes in both central and eastern United States, the motion suggested. The councilmen also contend that the USGS further discovered that some of the quakes occurring in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Ohio were triggered by activities related to fracking. West Los Angeles marked the origin of Monday’s earthquake, which is also in the vicinity where active oil extraction activities have been reported, according to the motion.
City attorneys are expected to prepare an ordinance within the next two months that would impose a moratorium on such drilling methods. [Emphasis added]
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