June 2, 2021

Earthquake “Swarms” Linked to Wastewater Injection in California

Earthquake “Swarms” Linked to Wastewater Injection in California

June 2, 2021

The USGS has long established a strong link between wastewater injection and earthquakes in many states that previously had practically no seismic activity (i.e., Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana).  However, this cause-effect analysis was much more difficult in California due to its many faults and history of natural earthquakes, thus making it much more difficult to separate out the “human induced” earthquakes from wastewater injection.  This article points to “swarms” of earthquake activity around areas of California that occurred immediately after high levels of wastewater injection (mainly from the oil/gas “produced water”) occurred.  ECOVAP is proud to have already had a significant impact on reducing the seismicity (and underground aquifer contamination, not covered in this article) risk as our second largest installation is located in Southern California, allowing our company to reduce the trucking and wastewater disposal volumes of a large mine by over 95% (see Case Studies - Mining).

Article:

Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, California

Latest News

Federal Government Releases Seismicity Report Studying Possible Federal Regulations
January 2023
The attached comprehensive report (dated 1/13//23) on human-induced earthquakes from injection wells was prepared for the US Congress. Given the continued rise in the number and severity of these earthquakes, as well as their ability to cross state lines, the US Congress is considering more oversight: a.) amending the UIC program "to require consideration of induced seismicity"; b.) if the “federal government should have a role in regulating underground fluid injection activities"; and, c.) various other possible funding/regulatory options. EcoVAP is helping the oil/gas sector (and others) stay ahead of this increasing state - and possibly now federal - scrutiny by reducing the volume of produced water by over 90% using practically no energy or other operating cost: https://www.ecovap.com/case-studies/oil-gas-operation.
Tailings Pond Volumes Increasing with Lower Grade Ores
January 2023
The world’s 29,000-35,000 active, inactive and abandoned tailings storage facilities (“TSFs”) contain approximately 534 billion cubic meters (~14 trillion gallons) of wastewater. With recent catastrophic failures, there is increasing regulatory scrutiny of TSF safety, but these efforts are challenged by ever-increasing amounts of TSF wastewater due to mining successively lower grades of ore (see article below) and also due to increased weather volatility. Hence, the number of TSF failures is expected to continue to increase. EcoVAP’s proven technology for evaporating this wastewater, thus reducing or practically eliminating the volume of wastewater at any TSF, can help reduce the operational cost and environmental risk of tailings wastewater disposal.
EcoVAP Solution for Coal Power Compliance with Coal Ash Rule
November 2022
In November 2023, the environmental law group Earthjustice released a 212-page report on the difficulties of coal fired thermoelectric plants in complying with the Coal Ash Rule. The new report (an update from the initial 2019 report), estimates that "91% of coal plants are causing unsafe levels of groundwater contamination”, but also highlights many coal-fired power generators that have already or are planning to remedy these problems. With the ability to dewater tailings ponds, EcoVAP has proven its ability to provide a low cost, environmentally friendly means of dramatically remedying this challenge, with one client achieving an 85% reduction in land footprint and a 40% decrease in handling costs (see https://www.ecovap.com/case-studies/thermoelectric-power-plant).
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Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
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Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
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Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska