MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - Usually we don’t use earthquake and East Texas in the same sentence, but over the past 7 years there have been several instances of that very thing.
Several quakes have happened in the Timpson area, the most recent being 2018.
A study has revealed it's possible, a process called 'fracking' may contribute to earthquakes.
Low magnitude earthquakes have shaken East Texas, particularly the Timpson area.
Something state representative Chris Paddie of Marshall continues to monitor.
“I do serve as the chair of the house energy resource committee. There are seismic issues in the state, as it relates potentially to disposal wells. We we’re fresh off an incident at that time in 2012 in Timpson. We’ve also seen some in the metroplex area,” Paddie says.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects water and sand under high pressure into a well, cracking the rock to release natural gas and oil.
But there is a fault line near Timpson.
"If you've got fault lines, there's probably some things you don't want to do on those fault lines," the state rep says.
The science isn't exact yet.
"There's certainly nothing that suggests beyond a question that this is causing those things, we don't know that for certain," Paddie says.
But some believe there is evidence that the pumping of water back in is contributing to or causing the quakes.
That process is called disposal, and steps were taken to minimize the risk.
"Those operators of those disposables were immediately shut down, until some testing could be done," Chris says.
"Anytime there's seismic activity we've now developed a policy in Texas that you can no longer dispose of water or drill for oil and gas, in line with a fault in the earth we know of," said Texas railroad commissioner Wayne Christian in a 2018 interview.
The result has been more seismic monitors placed around fault lines.
"I think we'll forever be trying to figure out how mother nature works. There are significant changes in rules now to ensure that we really have a good handle on this," Paddie says.
Paddie says research is still being done, and studied, on the possible connection between fracking and earthquakes.