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Earthquakes force Ohio to shut down a fracking disposal well
State says it isn't sure the Youngstown quakes are linked to the disposal well, but it can't take a chance
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 

Another earthquake in the Youngstown area has caused the state to  shut down a well that’s been taking in millions of gallons of fluid left over from the drilling process called “fracking.”

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced today that the Youngstown deep-injection well is suspending operations.

 The area has experienced a series of small earthquakes since the well started operating about nine months ago. The most recent, on Christmas Eve, was two miles down and within a mile of the injection site.

Natural Resources Director James Zehringer says no one can prove conclusively that the seismic activity is linked to the well, but he’s decided to be cautious.

In a statement, Zehringer says the state’s top priority is the public’s health and protection of natural resources, and he is not willing to gamble with safety.

The area had had no recorded earthquakes until Northstar Disposal Services of Youngstown started operating the well.

 After the tremors began, the state installed four seismometers to monitor the area.  

Ohio has nearly 200 similar wells operating around the state. They’re taking in hydraulic fracking fluid used in Ohio and other states to break open shale and release natural gas and oil. Fracking is expected to dramatically increase in Ohio in the next two years.

 

 
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