Did Fracking Cause Ohio’s Recent Earthquake?

At 8 a.m. April 2, a 3.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Wayne National Forest. Now, many are wondering if that earthquake occurred on its own, or whether it was the result of hydraulic fracturing a.k.a., fracking.

Woah woah. Not that kind of fracking. This kind of fracking…


Fracking is a method used to extract oil and gas from deep below the earth’s surface. A mixture of water, sand, and chemicals are forcefully pumped underground, typically into the shale. The high-pressure water causes the shale to release trapped gasses and oil, allowing for them to be removed along with the water.  Once the resources are extracted from the water, it can be re-used for the same process, but eventually, the waste water has to be discarded somewhere.

Within a five mile radius of the 3.0 earthquakes epicenter, lies eight shale well sites with permits for fracking. A study from January 2015 showed that fracking has caused earthquakes in Ohio in the past, 77 of them in that study alone.

Wayne National Forest currently has nearly 40,000 acres that permit fracking through the Bureau of Land Managment. This is Ohio’s only national forest, and many conservation groups are launching campaigns calling for fracking to be banned within its limits.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the State of Ohio is now investigating whether or not fracking was responsible for the earthquake. Seismic activity has registered throughout the state before with many earthquakes having no relation to shale wells. But the increased activity is a concern for some.

Do you think that fracking has negative impacts? Should it be allowed on federal property like Wayne National Forest? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

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