Shale Energy Law Blog
WV Legislators Briefed on NRC Seismic Activity Report
October 19, 2012
On October 9, Michael Hohn, director of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, briefed the West Virginia joint House and Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee A with the findings of a report of the National Research Council entitled “Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies,” reported by the State Journal. The report indicates that hydraulic fracturing poses very little risk of inducing seismic activity. However, the report found that subsurface disposal of waste water does pose a risk of inducing seismic activity, but that the circumstances necessary to induce seismic activity were rare. Hohn indicated that the long-term effect of waste water disposal upon seismic activity is unknown, and that predicting the effects is difficult because of a lack of information regarding rock systems, including the presence and locations of faults.