State

Dec 4, 2012 2:20 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Colorado earthquakes may be linked to drilling

DENVER (AP) - Federal geologists say recent earthquakes in Colorado and elsewhere were induced by a drilling procedure to dispose of wastewater, and regulators in Colorado have started to look for seismic risk in permit reviews.

The Denver Post reported Tuesday that Colorado drilling regulators say more study is needed on the link between drilling waste disposal and the uptick in earthquakes. But nevertheless regulators are looking at permits to analyze earthquake risk.

A report due this week at a gathering of the American Geophysical Union says that an uptick in earthquakes on the Raton Basin in Colorado, northern New Mexico and elsewhere is tied to disposal wells, where oil and gas drilling wastewater is injected.

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake near Trinidad last year triggered minor rockslides. No one was hurt.

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