June 11, 2014

Azle area quakes subject of June 18 public meeting

An SMU geophysicist and public officials will join public radio reporters to discuss unsettling earthquakes.

KERA/90.1 FM and StateImpact Texas, a public radio collaborative, will sponsor a public meeting Wednesday in Azle to address the small earthquakes that have occurred in northern Parker County since November.

Scheduled panelists include state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, Reno Mayor Lynda Stokes, SMU geophysics professor Heather DeShon and StateImpact Texas reporter Mose Buchele. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao, who has covered major earthquakes in Japan, Indonesia and Thailand, will moderate the discussion, and another StateImpact Texas reporter, Terrence Henry, will moderate audience questions.

It’s the third public meeting this year on the quakes around Azle and Reno.

The Texas Railroad Commission had a meeting on Jan. 2 to hear from the public, and the following week gas drilling critics held their own event. The railroad commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry in the state, hired a seismologist in March and heard public comment at a Jan. 21 meeting at its Austin offices.

A special Texas house subcommittee on May 12 heard from researchers and state regulators.

Officials in Arkansas, Ohio and Colorado have linked earthquakes with nearby wastewater injection wells. Texas and Oklahoma regulators have not established such a link. University of Texas at Austin researchers have also concluded that there were possible links between injection wells and seismic activity at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and around Cleburne in 2009-2010.

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