Another public safety hazard stems from earthquakes triggered by injection well wastewater disposal, which can increase pressure on faults. Such induced quakes have happened in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. A 2018 study by Stanford scientists shows an increase in significant seismic events since 2005, and previous research by Stanford showed that “wastewater injected as a step in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) underlies an increase in seismic activity”.
The injection of fracking wastewater into underground wells has been linked to earthquakes in several states. In 2014, residents in the central and eastern U.S. felt 659 earthquakes, compared to an average of just 21 per year from 1973 to 2008, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Oklahoma has been particularly hard hit, with seismic activity 40 times greater since 2008 than in previous years, and they’ve experienced 6,000 years worth of natural earthquakes in a time span of 5 years due to fracking and wastewater disposal from neighboring Texas.