Railroad Commission Responding to 5.4 Magnitude Earthquake Near Midland, Deploying Inspectors

December 17, 2022

AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission activated personnel Friday evening in response to a 5.4 magnitude earthquake about a dozen miles north of Midland in Martin County and will take any necessary actions to protect public safety and the environment.

Today, RRC inspectors will be examining disposal activity at injection well sites near the earthquake, which took place within the Gardendale Seismic Response Area (SRA).

In December 2021, the RRC ordered the indefinite suspension of all produced water disposal in deep injection wells in the SRA. Staff will review permit requirements for other injection wells in the area as it prepares for a response to reduce the frequency and intensity of earthquakes.

Agency personnel are continuing to closely monitor seismic data from the United States Geological Survey, the TexNET Seismic Monitoring Program and private operator monitoring stations.

RRC staff will continue its work to keep residents and the environment safe.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.