Lawsuit blames fracking for Arkansas earthquakes

Feb. 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Two Arkansas couples have sued two companies involved in fracking, blaming the process for a series of earthquakes, including the state's largest in 35 years.

In a complaint filed in federal court, Daryl and Nicole Davis and Joel and Terri Van Pelt charge that fracking caused "swarms and mini-clusters" of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 that damaged their homes in Greenbrier, Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday. The lawsuit names Chesapeake Operating Inc. and BHP Billiton Petroleum as defendants.

The couples charge the earthquakes have hurt the value of their property.

In court papers, the plaintiffs say that geologists have determined that injecting wastewater from fracking back into the ground causes earthquakes.

While most of the quakes in the Greenbrier area were small, in February 2011, a 4.7-magnitude quake struck less than a mile from the Davis home and just over two miles from the Van Pelts. The couples said there have almost been quakes measuring 3.8 and just over 4.0.

A number of other lawsuits have been filed around the country blaming fracking for earthquakes.

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