Today Governor Sam Brownback named a state task force to study and develop a State Action Plan for Induced Seismicity related to oil and gas activities in Kansas. Induced seismicity refers to minor earthquakes resulting from human activity.
"This is a matter of public safety," said Governor Brownback. "Recent seismic activity in south-central Kansas has raised concerns that fluid injection might be related. I have asked the task force to study the issue and report back with a State Action Plan."
The task force members include:
Rex Buchanan, Interim Director, Kansas Geological Survey
Kim Christiansen, Executive Director, Kansas Corporation Commission
Mike Tate, Chief, Bureau of Water, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
"There is data that point to a possible correlation between fluid injection and seismic activity," Buchanan said. "We need to assess that data, get more information through seismic monitoring, and understand why the area has experienced increased seismic activity recently."
Oil and gas is a cornerstone industry in Kansas generating nearly $4.3 billion each year, and employing 118,000 Kansans each day. The task force has been directed to ensure the safety of all Kansans, and to consider the impacts to industry and the environment. The plan will also include an assessment of Kansas' seismic monitoring capabilities to determine if additional resources are needed to accomplish better monitoring.