Legislator Calls for Task Force on Oklahoma 'Earthquake Emergency'

A state legislator is calling for a federal task force to develop an emergency plan to cope with the swarm of earthquakes in Oklahoma.

State Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valliant, and independent geologist Bob Jackman of Tulsa want the panel to evaluate recent studies on the increase in earthquake and issue findings and solutions by the end of the year.

"An emergency exists in central Oklahoma, with its accelerated and unprecedented increase in frequency and magnitude of apparently man-made earthquakes," Jackman said in a press release. .

Ellis and Jackman suggested the panel include representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma Geological Survey, seismologists, and geophysicists and hydrogeologists from Oklahoma's petroleum industry.

"We need to act, not react," Ellis said. "We'd better not wait 'til a high Richter-scale earthquake occurs, causing disastrous damages to homes, roads, bridges, schools and hospitals - as well as oil and gas well surface and subsurface casing and pumps."

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