UNDATED (KTHV) -- There's a major vote Wednesday by the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.
They're convinced there's a link between fracking waste disposal wells and the swarm of earthquakes hitting part of the state.
State Oil and Gas commissioners wrapped up a two-day hearing in El Dorado Wednesday, voting to ban any future disposal well operations in the Guy-Greenbrier area.
They also voted to close an existing well while the operators of three others decided to close on their own before commissioners had a chance to act.
Down the road from Curtis Barton's Faulker County home, these gates lead to a disposal well. When operating, it injects fracking waste below the ground for permanent storage. But Barton feels the well did more than that.
"A lot of times there was a crack and pop. You would hear the earthquake and then you would feel the waves, kind of like waves in the ocean, it rocked the whole house," Barton said.
Earthquakes have rattled the Guy-Greenbrier area over the past year.
"Doors wouldn't work, windows wouldn't shut right," Barton said.
There was no firm link to the area's disposal wells until Wednesday.
"Based on our testimony that the wells most likely were triggering the earthquakes along the Guy-Greenbrier fault, they felt action was needed," said Scott Ausbrooks with the Arkansas Geological Survey.
It was action from the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission banning new disposal wells in the area and closing an existing one.
"There are a network fractures and joints in the rock, cracks in the rock that basically allowed the effects, the influence of the injection well to reach the Guy- Greenbrier fault line and trigger the earthquakes," Ausbrooks said.
Ausbrooks said a colleague also testified there were no tremors along that fault line before the disposal wells came.
"After injection started, you had a lot of seismicity, more than 1,200 quakes that occurred along this fault that we recorded and located," Ausbrooks said.
When operations would stop, testimony showed a drop.
"Basically a two-thirds reduction in number of overall earthquakes," Ausbrooks said.
It's evidence impacting a decision giving Barton: "Peace and quiet," he said.
The disposal well forced to close is from a company called Deep Six Water Disposal Services. They have until September 30th to cease operations.
The three other companies closing wells voluntarily are from BHP Billiton and Clarita.
Here's a company spokesman for BHP Billiton.
"Since recently acquiring the Fayetteville assets from Chesapeake, we've carefully studied this issue. Although no definitive conclusions have been reached, we will permanently plug and abandon our disposal wells in the moratorium area after having voluntarily shut them in over a month ago. We have subsequently pursued alternative disposal options. As a responsible operator, BHP Billiton Petroleum is committed to protecting people, the environment, and communities where we operate."
BHP Billiton Petroleum