Earthquake Prompts Fracking Site Shutdown
Ohio regulators froze operations at two injection wells for fracking sites after an earthquake hit the state this month.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources cited “possible evidence that the operation caused a 2.1-magnitude earthquake,” the Associated Press paraphrased. An agency spokeswoman said that the department issued the order to American Water Management Services, according to the AP.
Frackfree Mahoning Valley, an advocacy group, had pushed for regulators to step in after the quake.
“In the interest of protecting the public health, safety, and well-being, concerned citizens of Frackfree Mahoning Valley are calling for an immediate halt of all waste injection at two, new Weathersfield injection wells that are, reportedly, near the epicenter of the 2.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred on August 31, 2014 in the Weathersfield/Niles, Ohio area. FFM wants to know if waste injection is still ongoing at the wells, or not,” the group said in a press release.
Ohio regulators have studied the link between earthquakes and injection wells in the past.
“All of the conditions associated with induced seismic activity can be addressed in the well permitting and construction process by utilizing additional geologic data and prohibiting injection into Precambrian basement rock. Future earthquakes can be avoided,” according to previous Ohio Department of Natural Resources documents.
Various researchers are studying the connection between earthquakes and fracking sites. According to a study released in July, “the massive increase in earthquakes in central Oklahoma is likely being caused by the injection of vast amounts of wastewater from oil and gas operations into underground layers of rock,” an announcement from the University of Colorado reported.