The state Department of Natural Resources said the earthquakes in the Youngstown area were based on "a number of coincidental circumstances:" The drilling began three months before the first quakes, seismic activity was clustered around the well bore, and a fault has since been identified in the deepest, oldest bedrock where water was being injected." Geologists believe it is very difficult for all conditions to be met to induce seismic events," the report states. "In fact, all the evidence indicates that properly located ... injection wells will not cause earthquakes."
Experts told Smith earthquakes have long been linked to energy exploration and production. "They point to recent earthquakes in the magnitude 3 and 4 range -- not big enough to cause much damage, but big enough to be felt -- in Arkansas, Texas, California, England, Germany and Switzerland" as being linked to wastewater injection, Smith reports. Improper placement of the Youngstown well stemmed from inadequate geological data, which official should be fixed in the future by the new regulations. (Read more)