"Frackwater" linked to earthquakes in Ohio

Jan 3, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A series of small earthquakes being studied for their potential links to disposal of gas drilling wastewater in Ohio is shaking up environmentalists and politicians.

It's long been known that disposal of so-called "frackwater" can cause earthquakes if injected near a fault. The jury is still out on whether Ohio's are caused by a wastewater well near Youngstown.

 In the battle of public perception, though, earthquakes grab attention. That's especially true in Ohio, where the geology and politics are positioned to accept wastewater from elsewhere.

 Environmental groups plan a protest next week and are stepping up calls for a drilling moratorium. A Youngstown-area senator is seeking a public hearing.

 The Ohio Petroleum Council says any public anxiety is misplaced because earthquakes caused by frackwater disposal are so rare.