Induced Seismicity from Oil and Gas Wastewater Injection

In the last decade, disposal of oil and gas production fluids by injection into deep wells has been implicated in hundreds of small earthquakes and several larger, damaging earthquakes in multiple states (i.e., induced seismicity). Disposal of these fluids by injection is regulated under the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its amendments. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states with authority to enforce the SDWA regulate injection of these oil and gas production fluids into Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC) wells.  

This map provides a partial comparison over time of federal law and the law in seven states with significant oil and gas development (Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas). All of these states, except Pennsylvania, have experienced earthquakes that are thought to be caused by wastewater injection and have been delegated authority by EPA to implement the SDWA regarding Class II wells. Law displayed in the dataset address state regulatory authority, well permitting and siting, well construction and operations, and public participation, financial assurances, and liability.

This resource identifies and displays key features of Class II UIC well law related to induced seismicity from seven states and the United States EPA in effect from January 1, 2018 through August 16, 2019.
The report “Induced Seismicity from Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal: A Comparison of State and Federal Law Regarding Class II Underground Injection Control Wells”  compares law of the eight jurisdictions based on this map resource plus additional research on state administrative policies and actions.

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