Weatherford Democrat

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November 26, 2013

Still quaking

Two earthquakes hit northeast Parker County Saturday and Monday

(Continued)

“I’ve got one email right here, saying, ‘What concrete actions do you intend to take about these earthquakes?’” 

Conley said he and the county attorney talked with State Rep. Phil King, who said they were going to do a study.

Scott told the court there is no standard insurance policy in the State of Texas that covers earthquakes, and that an additional rider must be added.

There is nothing the county can do at this point, Judge Mark Riley said.

“There’s no disaster structure at this point for what’s happening up there,” he said. “We can’t assist. Emergency management has no role. Obviously, if we reach some huge monetary damage, then ...”

“If something bad does happen — if a bad earthquake does happen — how would we respond to that?” Scott asked.

“You stay away from the hole,” Riley replied.

 

Other local response

The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, a groundwater regulatory authority for Montague, Wise, Hood and Parker counties based in Springtown, says it has been involved in ongoing studies relating to what, if any, role injection wells or fracking might have in the recent earthquake outbreaks in North Texas. 

“We don’t have any authority to do anything about [the earthquakes],” General Manager Bob Patterson said. “We also don’t have any authority over hydraulic fracturing or injections wells. That’s all a function of the railroad commission.” 

“Now we are definitely concerned about it because of the fact that it may affect groundwater. And so we’re doing extensive work with TCEQ, the railroad commission and about three different hydrogeological firms and looking into those issues. Plus we’re cooperating on the Environmental Protection Agency’s study on hydraulic fracturing as well as injection wells.”

“We are looking into it,” Patterson said. “There is no firm conviction at this point that it is due to either one of those processes. It’s too early to tell. There’s a lot of studying going on by different groups. In any case, it could be a serious problem.”

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