Flint Hills residents push against saltwater injection wells

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In this Feb. 2012 photo, oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. An emerging oil boom has been sparked by modern technologies using horizontal drilling and a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to coax out oil and gas. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

WINDSOR — Kansas residents are broadening the fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in the Flint Hills into a protest of similar wells across several counties and an effort to lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

KCUR-FM reports that residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost efforts last month to block operation of a saltwater injection well near the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City.

Petitioners say they’re now focusing on fighting plans of additional wells across several counties.

Energy companies use such wells to dispose wastewater resulting from oil production. U.S. Geological Survey officials say a proliferation of these wells is behind the recent earthquake spike in Oklahoma and south-central Kansas. Flint Hills residents say the same can happen in their area.

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