For more information contact: Linda Berry, (785) 271-3269 or Samir Arif, (785) 271-3188
October 29, 2015
Kansas Corporation Commission Approves Order Extending Wastewater Injection Limits
Topeka, KS - Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) today approved an order that would continue limits on the volume of wastewater being injected into disposal wells in Harper and Sumner Counties. KCC staff recommended that the Commission continue existing limits to the amount of wastewater disposal in Harper and Sumner Counties, allowing further study of seismic activity and its relationship to large-volume disposal wells. This most recent order extends the limits for an additional 180 days, until March 2016.
The full text of the order can be found at http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/15CONS770CMSC_OrderExtendingMonitoring.pdf? Id=cd26d7bf-cc09-42cd-8777-d496f547d702.
In March 2015, at the recommendation of KCC staff, the KCC issued the initial order setting wastewater- disposal volume limits for Harper and Sumner County. The order also gradually reduced the amount of wastewater disposal allowed at individual wells in five areas with the largest clustering of seismic events, and required operators to verify the true vertical depth of disposal wells in the five areas.
On February 17, 2014, Governor Brownback appointed a task force consisting of members from the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS), the KCC, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to study the issue. The task force made a recommendation for increased monitoring efforts and created a response plan.
The KCC provided funding to the Kansas Geological Survey to purchase seismic monitoring equipment, enabling researchers to gather more precise seismic data. The additional seismic monitoring equipment was deployed in January 2015.