Arkansas families file suit over earthquakes
CONWAY, Ark. — Fourteen families in central Arkansas have filed a lawsuit in connection with a series of earthquakes in Faulkner County that prompted the state in 2011 to ban the use of four natural-gas drilling disposal wells in a large area mostly north of Conway. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Saturday that the lawsuit against Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Operating Inc. and BHP Billiton Petroleum LLC alleges that natural-gas disposal wells resulted in thousands of earthquakes in Arkansas in 2010 and 2011. The lawsuit contends the companies’ disposal wells, which get rid of drilling fluids and wastewater by pushing the liquids back into the earth, “caused thousands of earthquakes in mini-clusters and swarms in central Arkansas in 2010 and 2011.” BHP, based in Australia, which purchased Chesapeake’s Arkansas assets in March 2011, did not immediately return a phone call or email from The Associated Press on Saturday seeking comment.