News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Earthquakes caused by fracking, expert claims
A seismologist from Colombia University says recent earthquakes near Youngstown are related to hydraulic fracturing wells
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
A series of earthquakes in Mahoning County this week are likely related to nearby hydraulic fracturing operations according to one seismic expert.
Courtesy of Tim Rudell
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

State officials are trying to figure out what’s behind a recent string of earthquakes in northeast Ohio. As Andy Chow reports, a national geological expert believes shale drilling is the cause.

CHOW: Expert blames earthquakes on fracking

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:06)


Rare earthquakes are now common after drilling
The state is suspending operations at a drilling site in Mahoning County as investigators take a closer look into recent seismic activity. In the span of about a week, researchers say the Youngstown area experienced about ten earthquakes.

Won-Young Kim, a seismic researcher for Columbia University, says the two strongest earthquakes measured at a 2.6 magnitude and a 3.0 magnitude. Kim says these quakes, which are unusually strong for the region, are most likely linked to shale drilling operations.

Kim: “Obviously there’s a good chance that these shocks might have been related to those drillings or injections by pressure fluid injections into the area.”

According to Kim, seismic records in the last 100 years have shown very little activity in the northeast part of Ohio. That is until drilling operations ramped up in the area.

Kim: “So there is some activity—but in the eastern part of Ohio there was not many activity accept Ashtabula, Youngstown, this northeastern corner—where there was active fluid injection going on and they—many of them were probably linked to that human activity.”

ODNR suspends area operations 
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources declined an interview for this story. In a written statement, spokesperson Mark Bruce said the department has suspended operations for one of Hilcorp Energy’s pads.

Hilcorp is a Texas-based company with several permits for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in Mahoning County. Bruce says the department will gather and analyze the data surrounding the earthquakes but adds that it’s premature to draw any conclusions about the cause of the quakes.

Michael Hansen, the lead geologist for Ohio’s earthquake information center, could not be reached for comment.

Kim agrees that more research is needed.

Kim: “We need more information to understand cause and effect—in this case we don’t have the information yet.”

Rep. Hagan calls for tighter regs. 
The same type of follow-up occurred after other quakes rattled the Youngstown area near the end of 2011. Kim says researchers later determined that those earthquakes were connected to fracking waste injection wells.

Democratic Representative Bob Hagan of Youngstown, has been a vocal advocate for strong fracking regulations in the state. He accused ODNR of withholding too much information and hopes the recent seismic activity spurs policy changes.

Hagan: “We have to really think about what we want in the future with this type of drilling—I mean—if it’s causing problems, if it’s causing earthquakes—it’s endangering the water table the drinking water of a lot of people in the Mahoning Valley.”

According to the most recent ODNR records, the department has issued 29 permits for shale drilling operations in Mahoning County.

Kim urges that he’s only providing his input as a scientist and not an advocate for or against drilling. He adds that if shale drilling operations are truly connected to the earthquakes then a good way to prevent future activity is to implement more seismic monitoring policies.

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University