As discussed here that one of the reasons for Virginia’s earthquake was fracking by oil and gas companies, another news story came up per USGS that the 4.0 magnitude earthquake in Ohio was caused due to injection of waste water into the faultine. However fracking is quite similar to that process, as discussed earlier. I believe that more studies need to be conducted to understand the effect of fracking and artificial injection of water in to the earth, particularly near fault lines. Per Yahoo news:
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.
4.0 Earthquake strikes in northern Ohio (Yahoo!)
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.