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Monday, March 24, 2014

Questions Continue About Fracking and Earthquakes in Ohio

From the Youngstown Vindicator:
We’ve heard it since the dawn of the fracking boom in the Mahoning Valley: Fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes. 
Beginning in 2011, a swarm of as many as 109 quakes hit the Valley. Eventually, the cause was linked to an injection well at D&L Energy Inc. on Salt Springs Road, which had penetrated the Precambrian crust with fracking waste. 
That acknowledgement was slow to come. In October 2011, Heidi Hetzel-Evans, a spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, told The Vindicator “[ODNR has] not seen any evidence that shows a correlation between localized seismic activity and deep-injection well disposal.” 
By the following March, the ODNR was on board, telling the Valley what it had suspected for months: an injection well triggered quakes. 
Two years later and 12.5 miles away, a 3.0-magnitude earthquake shook Poland Township just before 2:30 a.m. In total, geologists have recorded 12 low-magnitude quakes, all near the Carbon Limestone Landfill. 
This time, there was no injection well at the site — only fracking wells.
You can read the rest of that article by clicking here.  There are some interesting details about the investigation into this unusual seismic activity.

Another article from the Vindicator examines how this latest earthquake may affect plans for a new injection well:
Though the president of American Water Management Services Inc. said the start of commercial brine injection just north of Niles is about two weeks away, state regulators say it’s too soon to determine whether several Poland Township earthquakes will delay that plan. 
Ron Klingle, president of AWMS, said last week he was hopeful that in “a couple weeks” testing will be complete and injection can begin so the company “can get a little of our money back” from the cost of construction. 
The Howland company, a subsidiary of Avalon Holdings Corp., has nearly completed construction of the injection facility, which is in Weathersfield Township just north of North Road on state Route 169.
The locations of the Poland Township quakes and the Weathersfield Township injection well are about 20 miles apart. 
Click here to read that entire article. 

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