Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nation Briefs

Article excerpt

Oklahoma opens quake investigation

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says its Induced Seismicity Department and the Oklahoma Geological Survey are investigating several earthquakes in the central part of the state.

At least seven quakes of magnitude 3.0 or stronger have struck since Tuesday in an area about 15 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

The strongest was a magnitude 4.2 quake Wednesday night. It knocked out two electric substations, leaving about 1,900 customers without power for about an hour.

No injuries or significant damage are reported.

The injection of wastewater from oil and gas production into disposal wells has been linked to an uptick in earthquakes, but the commission said Thursday no disposal wells are in the area. A known fault is in the vicinity.

Governor switches parties * West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is switching parties to join Republicans.

Justice was elected in November with just 49 percent of the vote, 20 percentage points behind President Donald Trump's total in the presidential contest in the state. Trump won 77 percent of West Virginia's Republican primary voters in May.

The president promised throughout the campaign to resurrect the lagging coal industry.

Justice's defection leaves Democrats with just 15 governors among 50 states.

Chemical release in North Carolina draws probe * Federal prosecutors have demanded documents, research and monitoring data from a North Carolina agency as they investigate a Fortune 500 company's release of a little-studied chemical into a river that supplies drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people, officials said Thursday.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality received a subpoena last week from U.S. attorneys seeking records involving discharge of the unregulated chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River. The river is the main source of the water serving about 200,000 people in and around Wilmington, about 100 miles downstream of the Chemours plant near Fayetteville. …

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