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11 quakes jar county in April

Van Buren County has been rattled by 11 earthquakes in April.

The quakes ranged from 1.7 to 2.4 magnitudes.

After swarms of earthquakes in Faulkner County, the state Oil and Gas Commission voted in 2011 to shut down a natural gas drilling disposal well and ban any future wells in the area.

The action came after a hearing on whether the disposal of natural gas drilling fluids in deep wells in the region, called injections wells, could be contributing to the frequency of the tremors.

Before the commission could vote on closing four other wells in the area, the owners of those wells notified the commission it would voluntarily close them.

The moratorium covers a 1,150-square-mile area that cuts through Cleburne and Faulkner counties and includes the cities and towns of Conway, Damascus, Enola, Greenbrier, Greers Ferry, Guy, Heber Springs, Higden, Holland, Mount Vernon, Quitman, Rose Bud, Twin Grovers, Vilonia, Wooster and portions of Greers Ferry Lake.

There are at least a couple of injection wells currently in Van Buren County.

This month’s quakes occurred: April 21, Clinton, 2:37 p.m., 2.4 magnitude; April 20, Fairfield Bay, 6:13 a.m., 1.7, and 12:55 a.m., 2.0; April 20, Damascus, 12:45 a.m., 2.1; April 19, Fairfield Bay, 9:25 p.m., 1.9; April 19, Quitman, 7:48 p.m., 1.8, and 2:31 p.m., 1.9; April 19, Damascus, 2:04 p.m., 1.7; April 18, Damascus, 9:21 p.m., 2.4; April 17, Fairfield Bay, 4:49 a.m., 1.7; and April 14, Fairfield Bay, 4 a.m., 2.1.

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