Hearing Tomorrow in Norman in Earthquake Case
A hearing is set for tomorrow in Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma. The hearing will begin at 1:30 before Judge Walkley.
The motions to be heard are in the case brought by Gary and Sandra Ladra of Prague, which was the first action filed in Oklahoma alleging that earthquakes nearby were caused by wastewater disposal wells.
In November of 2011, Prague suffered three earthquakes of greater than 5.0 in magnitude. The largest quake was a 5.7m earthquake that was the state's largest until September 3, 2016 when a 5.8m quake hit near Pawnee.
The Ladra's have moved to compel New Dominion to produce more information about their disposal wells near Prague, and to produce communications the company has had with government officials and other oil and gas companies about wastewater disposal and links to seismic activity. Plaintiffs believe that New Dominion and other oil and gas company executives placed pressure on government agencies and their employees not to link their operations with Oklahoma's earthquakes.
Mr. and Mrs. Ladra also want to take the deposition of Dr. Holland who had previously been Oklahoma's seismologist, and has left the state for New Mexico -- seemingly under pressure by the industry after he publicly stated Oklahoma's problems with earthquakes were due to wastewater disposal into the Arbuckle formation deep below Oklahoma's surface.
The Ladras also want to take the deposition of Dr. Todd Halihan a member of the Governor's Seismicity Counsel and a professor at Oklahoma State University, who has spoken publicly about how Oklahoma's earthquakes are caused by the industry's disposal of fracking wastewater into the Arbuckle.
It is expected that attorneys for New Dominion and Oklahoma State University will be arguing against these Plaintiffs and their attempts to get this information and take the testimony of Dr. Halihan and Dr. Holland.