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Tuesday 30 September 2014

Ohio earthquakes linked to fracking

Published 11/04/2014 | 17:52

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The state of Ohio has halted drilling indefinitely at a site where five minor tremors occurred in March

State regulators have for the first time have linked earthquake activity in eastern Ohio to hydraulic fracturing, confirming the suspicions of activists pushing unsuccessfully for a drilling ban.

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State Oil & Gas chief Rick Simmers said the state has halted drilling indefinitely at the site near Youngstown where five minor tremors occurred in March following investigative findings of a probable link to fracking.

A deep-injection well for fracking wastewater was tied to earthquakes in the region in 2012.

Mr Simmers says Ohio will require sensitive seismic monitoring as a condition of all new drilling permits within three miles of a known fault or existing seismic activity of 2.0 or greater.

Drilling will pause for evaluation with any tremor of 1.0 magnitude and will be halted if a link is found.

A seismologist with the US Department of Interior said it is the first time seismic activity has been linked to Marcellus shale exploration which has swept the north-eastern United States over the past few years.

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