COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new study suggests that fracking triggered hundreds of too-small-to-be-felt earthquakes in eastern Ohio late last year, months before the state first linked seismic activity to the oil-and-gas extraction technique.
The study, in the journal Seismological Research Letters, identified nearly 400 tremors on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2013. That included 10 quakes of magnitudes of 1.7 to 2.2 — significantly more intense than expected, though still minor.
A newspaper analysis finds that the average number of 2.0 magnitude and higher earthquakes occurring in Ohio each year has risen.
The rise reported by The Columbus Dispatch coincides with an average increase in tremors nationally and to an increase in oil-and-gas drilling and deep injection activity in eastern Ohio.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources data reviewed by the newspaper showed Ohio averaged two earthquakes annually of 2.0 magnitude or greater between 1950 and 2009. Between 2010 and 2014, that average rose to nine.
Ohio officials are advising oil and gas companies to share information on the toxic chemicals they use with local authorities, including first responders.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio notified companies this month that federal disclosure law trumps a 2001 state law requiring only that the information be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The amount of waste from the shale gas and oil drilling process injected into disposal wells in Ohio is continuing to rise.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says that 14.2 million barrels of fluids and other waste from the process of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - were injected into disposal wells in the state in 2012. That was up 12 percent from the previous year.