Lawsuit: EPA needs new rules to address manmade earthquakes

AP News
Posted: May 04, 2016 5:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of environmental groups is suing federal environmental regulators over their alleged failure to stop oil and gas companies from disposing of drilling waste in ways that can threaten drinking water supplies and trigger manmade earthquakes.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington urges the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new rules covering the disposal of contaminated wastewater created by hydraulic fracturing operations and then pumped back underground.

The lawsuit filed by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups cites the sharp increase of earthquakes in states where oil and gas drilling has boomed in recent years, including Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas.

EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen declined to comment on the pending litigation. Individual states often take the lead in regulating oil and gas operations.