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Rep. Burns, DeWayne

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Representative DeWayne Burns Seeks Answers in Johnson County Earthquake  print page

by: Rep. Burns, DeWayne
05/08/2015

Austin - At 5:58pm on Thursday, May 7, the residents of Johnson County were rattled by an unfamiliar feeling. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded on Mountain Creek, between the communities of Venus and Lillian.

Representative Burns has been in contact with Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator, Jamie Moore. According to Mr. Moore, there have been no injuries reported and only two instances of damage, resulting in two mobile homes shifting on their cinder-block foundations.

In addition, Texas Railroad Commissioner (RRC), Ryan Sitton, has been on the ground in Johnson County personally overseeing the RRC's examination of all oil and gas infrastructure within a 10 mile radius of the earthquake's epicenter. In a phone call with Representative Burns today, Commissioner Sitton reported that so far there had been no damage or leaks found and all tank and pipeline pressures were acceptable.

"I'd like to personally thank Commissioner Sitton for the RRC's quick response to this emergency situation. Mr. Moore reported that inspectors were on the ground in Johnson County before sundown on the day of the quake and have been working diligently to ensure the residents of Johnson County are safe. I appreciate Commissioner Sitton personally overseeing the inspections in Johnson County," said Burns.

Burns also contacted House Energy Resources Committee Chairman, Drew Darby, who has been working with the Budget Conference Committee on a budget rider that would not only provide seismometers for scientific tracking of underground activity, but would also create a Governor-appointed advisory committee of scientists to share and analyze proprietary fault data and any other information related to earthquakes.

"This event has brought to light the need for more science to determine the cause of the third strongest earthquake in the recorded history of Texas," remarked Burns. "We need to make sure our decisions going forward are based on sound science as we continue to explore why something like this would happen in Johnson County. I look forward to working with Governor Abbott, Commissioner Sitton, Chairman Darby, and all interested agencies and officials as we search for answers."

CONTACT: Joy Davis

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