Kansas geologists ask for more funding amid earthquake spike

Rex Buchanan, the leader of the Kansas Geological Survey, said Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 during the House Energy and Environment Committee meeting, that the agency is moving in the direction of concluding recent earthquakes in the state are being caused by oil and gas production practices. (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Thad Allton)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas geologists say they need more funding to investigate an unprecedented spike in earthquakes in the state.

Kansas Geological Survey Director Rex Buchanan told the House Energy and Environment Committee on Monday that about half a million dollars is needed to beef up seismic monitoring. The agency has recorded 206 earthquakes since Jan. 1, 2013, after detecting three from 2004 through 2012.

Buchanan said the agency is still studying the problem, but they see a connection between the earthquakes and the practice of injecting wastewater into underground wells. This technique is used as a part of several mining processes, including the hydraulic fracking process.

Fracking is used to get at previously unreachable oil and natural gas deposits. However, some activists have criticized the practice as excessively harmful to the environment.



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