Gov. Sam Brownback has formed a 3-person task force to study any connections between increased earthquake activity and Kansas oil and gas activities.
The Republican governor on Monday named Rex Buchanan, Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey, to lead the task force. The task force will study whether human activity is causing an increase in minor earthquakes in Kansas.
"Almost all the coverage that we get on this thing uniformally makes a connection between earthquakes and fracking, no matter how many times I say that is not what is going on," Buchanan said.
Kansas has seen increased fracking for oil and gas extraction in recent years in southern counties. The region is also seeing an increase in the number of small earthquakes that scientists have said could be caused by the returning of waste fluids back into the ground during the process.
"The idea of this group is to take a look at the recent seismic activity down in South Central Kansas, see what we can learn from it, see if there are any possible connections to oil field activities and then be in a position to develop best practices in order to respond," Buchanan said.
The newly formed task force will have it's first public meeting April 16th at the Hughes Metroplex in Wichita.