Ohio 4.0 earthquake blamed on fracking (sort of)

So whose fault is it?

The Associated Press reports,

Officials said Saturday they believe the latest earthquake activity in northeast Ohio is related to the injection of wastewater into the ground near a fault line, creating enough pressure to cause seismic activity.

The brine wastewater comes from drilling operations that use the so-called fracking process to extract gas from underground shale. But Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer said during a news teleconference that fracking is not causing the quakes.

“The seismic events are not a direct result of fracking,” he said.

Environmentalists and property owners who live near gas drilling wells have questioned the safety of fracking to the environment and public health. Federal regulators have declared the technology safe, however.

Zehringer said four injection wells within a five-mile radius of an already shuttered well in Youngstown will remain inactive while further scientific research is conducted.

A 4.0 magnitude quake Saturday afternoon in McDonald, outside of Youngstown, was the 11th in a series of minor earthquakes in area, many of which have struck near the Youngstown injection well. The quake caused no serious injuries or property damage, Zehringer said.

Thousands of gallons of brine were injected into the well daily until its owner, Northstar Disposal Services LLC, agreed Friday to stop injecting brine into the earth as a precaution while authorities assess any potential links to the quakes.

Michael Hansen of the Ohio Seismic Network said Saturday that more quakes are possible, most likely small ones, until the pressure at the fault line has been completely relieved…

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9 thoughts on “Ohio 4.0 earthquake blamed on fracking (sort of)”

  1. They have been fracking in Wyoming since the early 50’s. Wyoming sits on a really big fault that scifi writers love to use for disaster movies. Yes, the practice has increased, but somewhere in the last 50 years, you would think if earthquakes and fracking were connected, someone would have noticed. The difference is that we can and do measure very tiny quakes in the earth. Since we could not measure them before, we believe they are new. But there’s really no justification for that belief. It does, however, work really well in sensationalizing things and terrifying people for no reason. I am not saying that careful monitoring is not necessary, but saying the sky is falling is not appropriate at this time.

  2. The fracking environmentalists all need to move to Mexico or China or Russia or Nigeria so they can get some perspective..

  3. The sept. 04, 2010 of 7.1 and june, 13, 2011 of 6.3 earth-quakes in Christrhuch, New Zealand, occurred with no fracking activities around at all. And all the dozens of other quakes around the world, close to fault-lines happen without it also. So, why do the doomsayers always have to find some excuse to further their zealous theories? In my opinion, they are born liars!

  4. I thought global warming caused earthquakes and tsumani’s. Now fracking causes earthquakes, too? Just think how much worse the Mineral, VA, earthquake in August would have been if we had been fracking in Virginia. And here I thought it was that tectonic plate shifting thingy.

  5. According to Islamic Imams, earthquakes are cause by women wearing immodest clothing, so who is to blame? The same media that shills for radical Islam shills for anti-fracking enviros.

  6. Since I live in Ohio I can truthfully say …..so what? We have been having earthquakes here for years…and to tell you the truth I never seem to notice most of them. I usually don’t even know we have one until I see it on the news. The first I heard of this one was when my wife asked me about it this morning. She didn’t notice anything either and it was supposed to have occurred around the Youngstown area, which is only about an hour away from where I live.

    So now…..this brings me to these points….

    1. So what caused the earthquakes in Ohio before fracking?
    2. How can anyone differentiate between “natural” earthquakes versus anthropogenic earthquakes?
    3. Is there such a thing as an anthropogenic earthquake?
    4. Are we even sure that fracking can cause such a thing?
    5. Or is this merely another one of those “correlation is causation” scares by the greenies?

    My bet is the last one. Just one more greenie claim based on speculation motivated by ideology.

  7. There are lots and lots of tremors every day all over the world. They even get them in Melbourne, Australia, and there is no fracking happening there!!

  8. Do headline writers bother to read the article?

    If these tiny Ohio earthquakes were man caused, it was due to waste water injection, not fracking. The nearest fracking well is in Pennsylvania. So, in the article, Ohio Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer is quoted “The seismic events are not a direct result of fracking.”. I guess a journalism major know better.

  9. In an article (see link below) on “The Ohio Seismic Network”, the map on page 2 (Figure 1) shows that there was a 5.0 earthquake in the NE corner of Ohio (not far from Youngstown) back in 1986, … an earthquake that was larger than this one, apparently before waste water injections were taking place. As another poster commented, what caused the the earthquake back in 1986, and how do you tell the difference?

    Link: http://www.ohiodnr.com/Portals/10/ohioseis/pdf/osnarticle.pdf

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