On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits.  The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in the area. 

The RRC is the Texas agency that regulates oil and gas development; it also regulates the subsurface injection of waste from oil and gas production.

In an associated statement also issued on April 24, the RRC stated that permit holders are to “show cause why the injection permits for the wells should not be cancelled and the wells ordered shut-in due to an alleged connection raised by new seismic research between ongoing operation of the wells and seismic activity in the vicinity.”

In ordering the hearings, the RRC identified a recently issued report from seismologists at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.  The SMU report indicated that seismic activity may be related to the injection wells, which are approximately 75 miles west, northwest of Dallas.  The RRC statement quoted Railroad Commissioner David Porter that “the wells were permitted prior to the Commission’s rule amendments addressing disposal well activity and seismic activity, and in light of the new research contained in SMU’s report, it’s appropriate and necessary for the Commission to consider the operation of these wells in a fully informed manner and determine the appropriate course of action.”

The hearings are currently set for June 10, 11, 15 and 16.

To see the RRC statement, click here. ​​​