The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) have tightened fracking regulations near a North Texas Dam, becoming the latest agency at odds with the Texas Railroad Commission.
USACE have added their voice to concerns over the proximity of oil and gas activity in order to protect the Joe Pool Lake dam. Through a multiyear engineering study, the corp took a look at the 20-year standard used for the barrier for drilling and what impact fracking might have on the integrity of the dam.
This study has the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), which regulates oil and gas activity in the state, standing alone in its stance over the relationship between fracking and earthquakes. The RRC has long been skeptical of the link between fracking and earthquakes and has publicly questioned the mounting scientific evidence of the link.
One major study was published last April by researchers at SMU and confirmed that oil and gas disposal wells were likely to blame for a series of earthquakes in Azle and Reno Texas.
Currently, there is no drilling activity underway near the dam, but XTO Energy has three existing wells and permits to drill four more.