Mystery surrounding Azle earthquakes still frustrates residents

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 10:49 PM

AZLE -- Close to 100 people packed into Azle High School on Wednesday night to hear a panel discussion, and then fire off questions to officials about a recent earthquake swarm that hit the area.

At times, the audience participation grew heated, as frustrated residents pressed panel members to acknowledge whether there was a link between the tremors and waste water disposal wells in the area, which are used to get rid off fracking fluids.

"Enough is enough!" shouted one man who sat in the front of the crowd.

Mayor Lynda Stokes, of nearby Reno, said she shares many of the same frustrations as folks in the area -- especially when it comes to responsibility for area well operators.

"I think they want to shut those wells down," she said to a chorus of cheers, as a moderator asked about what the people wanted.

The forum came during the same week that the Texas Railroad Commission released new data from more than a dozen wells in the immediate area.

Although some of the data indicates increases in waste water injections during the months of November and December - when most of the earthquakes occurred - other wells seemed to show the opposite correlation.

"It's frustrating, emotional," said Rebecca Williams, who lives in the area. "There just are questions."

Southern Methodist University continues its study of seismic activity in the area. Full results from that won't be known for months, and then will face a peer review.

KERA and StateImpact sponsored the evening.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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