Fracking Earthquakes: Do We Really Need This?

More Ohio Injection Wells Shut Down

Via Beaver County Times and Wire Reports

Jan 2, 2012 – YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Ohio officials have suspended operations at four more injection wells near Youngstown, amid concerns of a connection to a series of earthquakes there in 2011, according to the Associated Press.

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced that Northstar Disposal Services LLC, which operates fluid injection wells used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling, agreed to stop using a well near Youngstown after a 2.4 magnitude earthquake occurred on Christmas Eve.

After a 4.0 magnitude quake shook the town and surrounding region Saturday afternoon — the 11th in the area in 2011 — the state halted operations at four other wells within a 5-mile radius.

Michael C. Hansen, network coordinator for the Ohio Earthquake Information Center near Columbus, told The Times last year’s quakes were uncharacteristic for northeastern Ohio.

"Youngstown is not an area that’s traditionally a center of seismic activity," Hansen said. "The data is indicating that an injection well very close by is what is causing these earthquakes."

Department officials this weekend said they believe there is a connection to the injection of wastewater near a fault line and the shutdown was necessary to allow time for further assessment.