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State official links earthquakes to disposal of waste

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A state group says a steep increase in earthquakes in south-central Kansas likely is caused by the disposal of waste water from an oil and gas extraction process often called fracking.

The state recorded more than 120 earthquakes last year, up from zero in 2012. State officials have hesitated to link the earthquakes to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Kansas Geological Survey officials said last week there is a strong correlation between the earthquakes and the waste disposal. But they stressed the link is with the waste disposal, not with the extraction process itself.

Joe Spease, of the Kansas Sierra Club, says that’s just semantics. His group supports a moratorium on fracking until the oil and gas industry develops a plan for disposing of the wastewater.

In related news, US Geological Survey records cluster of earthquakes in Texas.

Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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