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Firms Suspend Activities after Arkansas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking

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By Jennifer Krill

March 8, 2011

Are Arkansas' earthquakes manmade? While scientists work to determine the cause of over 700 earthquakes in a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Guy Earthquake Swarm, alarms are sounding that the quakes are caused by waste disposal for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

Fracking is the process of injecting fluids into oil or gas wells at high pressure in order to fracture the formations and enable the oil or gas to flow more freely and be pumped to the surface. Some of the fracking fluid stays underground, and some of it returns to the surface as waste. Since 2009, natural gas drillers have been pumping fracking wastes, also known as 'produced water' into disposal wells in the region around Guy, Arkansas. Beginning in that same time period, the region began experiencing earthquakes, including last Sunday's quake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale. 

The earthquake issue came to a head last week when two natural gas drillers suspended their practice of injecting fracking wastes underground. 

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There oughta be a law against mining through a salmon stream

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By Jennifer Krill

February 7, 2011

But, there isn't, at least, not yet. That's why the wealthy Texans Dick Bass and William Herbert Hunt are proposing to develop a coal field that lies beneath the Chuit River, an extremely productive wild salmon watershed. On January 20th, more than 150 people attended a hearing in remote Kenai, Alaska to tell the State of Alaska that the commercial and subsistence salmon harvest make the Chuit River an 'unsuitable land' for an open-pit coal mine. Check out this great coverage in The Mudflats, including photos from the hearing and an outline of the comments. You can weigh in too; the deadline for comments if February 19th.

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