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Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
But the problem is that the locations of many faults are unknown

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Geologists say new rules by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that limit drilling near known fault lines are a move in the right direction.

But professor Won-Young Kim of Columbia’s University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says faults, being underground, are largely unmapped – and therefore unknown.

LISTEN: Known and unknowns

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And so, most of the problem occurs when the fluid injected for hydraulic fracturing or the deep injection wells for disposal of waste interacts with these unknown faults. That is very difficult to deal with once that occurs.” 

Still, Kim says drillers should be able to determine when they’re near weak-spots or faults, and the increased monitoring should help in the long run.

The new regulations were put in place Friday, following an investigation into a series of small earthquakes hit southeast of Youngstown last month. The state says a well owned by Hilcorp probably caused the quakes and is now requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines.

Listener Comments:

Known fault lines.What about the UNKNOWN??Hilcorp might have known it was there but probably did not and an earthquake still happened.I see a solution.QUIT pumping toxic waste into the earth

Posted by: Jim (45352) on April 16, 2014 11:04AM
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines.
This comment really upsets me!!
What good does an instrument to measure seismic activity do?Tell them "oh we screwed up" how about preventing it ,instead of measuring it

Posted by: Jim (45352) on April 16, 2014 11:04AM
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