Lately, Ohio has become known for its creativity on voter suppression, but now its the first state to regulate the fracking-earthquake connection.
After a series of earthquakes related to fracking, companies that want to drill in seismically active areas will have to install monitoring equipment to get a permit, announced Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources.
If a seismic monitor picks up an earthquake with a magnitude over 1.0, drilling will be paused until the cause is investigated. If the probable cause is fracking, then operations will be stopped.
This is "a sensible response to a serious issue that regulators across the country are closely examining," says Gerry Baker, Associate Executive Director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. A consortium of state regulators are now looking into the connection between earthquakes and fracking, with a goal of developing common procedures to monitor them and regulations to prevent them.
Earthquakes associated with fracking:
Oklahoma – not a state associated with earthquakes – has experienced hundreds of them this year alone, suspiciously near fracking sites, and is part of the consortium, along with Kansas, Texas and Arkansas. Los Angeles, which recently banned fracking, did so partially because of the threat of earthquakes.
LA took it further: "Until these radical methods of oil and gas extraction are at the very least covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act, until chemicals are disclosed and problems are honestly reported, until we’re safe from earthquakes, until our atmosphere is safe from methane leaks, we need a fracking moratorium," said City Councilman Paul Koretz.