(GUY, Ark.) -- Hundreds of small- and medium-scale earthquakes have been rattling the area around Guy, Arkansas, and residents say wastewater injection wells being drilled in their area are to blame.
"It gives new meaning to the term 'rock your world,'" said resident Johnny Passmore. "There is no foundation. You are just shaking and you can't go anywhere because it's shaking."
In February, shocks from a 4.7-magnitude earthquake near the town were felt as far away as Memphis, Tennessee, the biggest quake in the region in 35 years.
These earthquakes are the newest development in the raging national argument over the safety of drilling for natural gas.
Josh Fox, the director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, questioned the industry's claims of natural gas as a clean energy source. His film is critical of a drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as "fracking," where fluid is injected into rock, breaking it to release natural gas.
Just days after the 4.7-magnitude quake in February, state regulators pressured energy companies into voluntarily shutting down two injection wells closest to the fault line. Chesapeake Energy, now owned by BHP Billiton, owned one of the wells at the time.
"We do not agree with the conclusions," said Chesapeake Energy spokesman Danny Games in a recent television interview. "We believe there is a lot of natural seismicity in this area and there's a lot more sub-surface data, and science and facts that need to be brought to bear."
A public hearing is scheduled Tuesday for both sides to present their data and decide whether or not the injection wells should be re-opened. There is a moratorium on building any new injection wells until this summer.
Since the two injection wells were shut down in March, the earthquakes have not completely stopped in Arkansas. But Scott Ausbrooks, a geologist with the Arkansas Geological Survey and a lead detective on the case, said they have tapered off dramatically.
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