Officials in Pennsylvania have confirmed that an earthquake that took place northwest of Pittsburgh last year is a direct result of fracking. Of course, it’s not the first. Another study found that 77 quakes in Oklahoma were caused by natural gas drilling.
“At least within Pennsylvania, this is the first time that we have seen that sort of spatial and temporal correlation with [oil and gas] operator activity,” says chief of well-plugging and subsurface activities for DEP’s oil and gas management program Seth Pelepko.
“There were no faults identified along portions of the well bore where these seismic events were detected,” he continued.
Once DEP alerted the well’s owner, Hilcorp, they shut down the well immediately.
This well is one of 10,000 “unconventional wells” that have been drilled into Pennsylvania. DEP has ordered Hilcorp to stop “zipper fracturing,” a shale gas extraction method, entirely due to the quakes.
Earthquakes are without a doubt one of the more alarming proven side effects of fracking, aside from exacerbating climate change and ruining the land. More and more, communities are moving to ban fracking. How long will it be before we end the practice entirely?
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