Fracking possibly increasing in Kay County

Ponca City Now - May 7, 2014 6:40 am

A public meeting was held Monday Night in Tonkawa to discuss fracking in the area.

International Energy Corporation has requested a permit to take 91 million gallons of water out of a Wellington minor basin.

Brian Vance of the Oklahoma Water Resource Board said the application is still pending.

“ Now when you’re in a drought the problem is less of a statewide problem persay than it is a localized problem in certain areas," Vance said. "We don’t see wide spread, major water supplies running dry during drought like we are having now, typically. What you do see are localized problems, domestic water wells drying up, maybe municipal lakes that have gotten so low that their intake structures can no longer take up water to supply their residents, those sort of things. So, with this particular application we will assess this pending water use like all others. We will look to see if there is available water. Are they going to use it for a beneficial purpose? Those sort of issues. Those are questions that have to be answered according to Oklahoma water law, that’s what we base our decisions on.”

Vance said the drought does complicate things.

However, Oklahoma Water Resource Board is required to file public notice and adjacent land owners must be notified.

Vance said once notifications are released impacted citizens have the right to protest the fracking.

“When they do that it goes to hearing," Vance said. "So, we will schedule a hearing and that will be communicated and those protestants and the applicant will be brought in to present evidence on both sides. Then our Hearing Examiner will make a recommendation and the board will approve or deny the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation, essentially.”

Protests for the pending permit in Kay County can be made now.

When I asked Vance about an increase in earthquakes due to fracking he said he had no comment.

Vance continued to say answering that question is way out of his ballpark.


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