Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania confirms first fracking-related earthquakes

Pennsylvania officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first fracking-related earthquakes took place last year in Lawrence County, northwest of Pittsburgh. As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is stepping up its requirements for drilling in that part of the state, which is known for seismic activity. In April 2016, Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Company [...]

Pa. DEP is ‘monitoring’ Ohio earthquake situation

Although Ohio recently changed its drilling permit rules over concerns hydraulic fracturing caused recent earthquake activity there, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is not planning on changing its rules at this time, according to the New Castle News. The DEP did not respond to a request by StateImpact Pennsylvania to comment, but a spokeswoman [...]

Ohio looks into whether fracking led to earthquakes

Officials in Ohio are looking into whether fracking operations may have led to earthquakes. Links between oil and gas production and increased earthquake activity have usually been related to disposal of wastewater in deep injection wells–not the fracking process itself. From the New York Times: The State Department of Natural Resources ordered work halted at [...]

Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Linked to Increased Earthquakes

New research published this week in the journal Science finds an increase in small earthquakes  may be related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells. Although small earthquakes happen every day across the U.S., the numbers have been going up. The research reveals two reasons for this: large earthquakes that occur around the globe, and [...]

How Fracking Fluid Wastewater Can Cause Earthquakes

This morning, NPR’s Christopher Joyce shed more light on the connection between earthquakes and underground fracking fluid wastewater wells. Scientists believe the underwater storage sites caused recent quakes in Ohio, as StateImpact covered earlier this week. Here’s Joyce’s explanation: Now let’s say there’s a fault line in the Earth. If the water content around the [...]

Answering Your Burning Questions About Fracking And Gas Drilling

A Bradford County drilling rig

All this week, StateImpact answered your burning questions about natural gas drilling. Answering queries submitted by readers, we explained the basics of water testing, water use during hydraulic fracturing, the location of Pennsylvania’s deep injection wells, and whether or not fracking has been linked to earthquakes. Now, it’s your turn to weigh in on which [...]

Burning Question: Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?

Yesterday, we began answering your burning questions about natural gas drilling, with a post delving into the “who, what, where, when and why” of water testing. Here’s part two of our series: The second of our burning questions comes from Deb Stone. Stone wants to know if there have been any studies looking at the [...]

How Fracking Causes Earthquakes, But Not the One in Virginia

Brandon Bennington helps clean up after Tuesday's earthquake knocked food off supermarket shelves in Mineral, Va.

Soon after the 5.9 earthquake struck Mineral, Va. on Tuesday the internet was buzzing with speculation that fracking could have caused the rare east coast quake. It turns out that injecting large amounts of fluid deep into the earth can result in “micro-quakes.” Geologist James Coleman, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, says fracking [...]

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