Eagle Road Oil LLC and Cummings Oil Company have been named in a proposed class action filed by a Native American tribe in Oklahoma that claims the defendants’ disposal of fracking wastewater 'deep into the earth' has caused devastating earthquakes.
Eagle Road Oil LLC and Cummings Oil Company have been named in a proposed class action filed by a Native American tribe in Oklahoma that claims the defendants’ disposal of fracking wastewater “deep into the earth” has caused devastating earthquakes. The defendants allegedly operate wastewater disposal wells for the oil and gas industry near the tribe’s location in Pawnee, Oklahoma into which waste fluids generated from fracking operations are injected “under extreme pressure.” According to the lawsuit, Eagle Road operates two wells in the area – Eagle Road Norman SWD 1-27 and Eagle Road Carter 1-5SWD – and disposes of approximately eight million gallons of fluid per month into the wells. Similarly, Cummings Oil injects an estimated 5.3 million gallons of wastewater per month into its Cummings Rogers 1-13D disposal well, the suit alleges.
The effect of the defendants’ operations, the case claims, is a greater frequency of earthquakes in Pawnee and the surrounding areas. Citing statements from members of the state’s government, the complaint points out a “direct correlation” between wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s heightened seismic activity – which the suit notes has increased “more than 300-fold” in recent years.
On September 3, 2016, the case notes, a magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck Pawnee, which was reportedly “the largest earthquake that had ever hit Oklahoma.” The earthquake, according to the suit, was not “naturally occurring” and was instead caused by the defendants’ wastewater disposal operations. Following the quake were at least 41 “aftershocks” that occurred throughout the month of September and devasted the town of Pawnee, the suit says.
The defendant’s operations, which the case labels as “ultrahazardous activity,” have supposedly caused more than $400,000 worth of damage to historic government buildings and have harmed people and their properties in the area of Pawnee, for which the plaintiff is seeking reparation.