YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WTOL) - A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck eastern Ohio on Saturday. It's the 11th earthquake in the area since March.
Seismologists say the center of the earthquake was less than a tenth of a mile from a brine fluid injection well in Youngstown. The well is a part of drilling operations that use the fracking process to extract gas from underground shale.
All of the earthquakes occurred within two miles of the well.
Geology professor Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer says the fracking did influence the earthquakes.
"They are pumping water down at about 9,000 feet, and it was working it's way down. It wound up serving as a lubricant, which then reduced the friction, and we had the earthquake."
It well had been voluntarily shut down on Friday, the day before the latest earthquake. Governor John Kasich has now issued a ban on all injection well operations within a 5-mile radius of the Youngstown well.
Lawmaker criticizes response to Ohio quakes
YOUNGSTOWN, OH (AP) - A lawmaker says the state's response to the latest earthquake activity in northeast Ohio is inadequate.
Officials said over the weekend that they believe there's a connection to the injection of gas drilling wastewater into the ground near a fault line.
On Friday, the brine disposal was halted at one well. Then, after a 4.0 magnitude quake shook the Youngstown area Saturday afternoon, the state stopped operations at four other injection wells within a 5-mile radius.
Democratic state Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown wants a moratorium on injection wells. He tells The Vindicator that "there is danger all over."
A spokesman for Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) says the administration didn't want to overreact to Saturday's quake with "guns blazing."
Read more from CNN: 4 Ohio fluid-injection wells cannot open in wake of quake.
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