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State's Conditions On Fracking Near Places With Seismic History Irks Shale Advocates, Critics

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After state officials in Ohio issued stringent new rules on shale drilling anywhere near areas that have experienced earthquakes, it could be expected that the industry wouldn’t be singing the Department of Natural Resources praises. But as ideastream’s Brian Bull reports …neither are fracking critics.

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Under the new rules issued Friday, if seismic monitors at drilling sites detect earth tremors of even a 1.0 magnitude, fracking will immediately stop and an investigation will start.

And companies doing the drilling will have to install monitors within 3 miles of known fault lines. Ohio industry spokesman Tom Stewart -- Executive Vice President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association -- sees this development as problematic.

“Certainly we’re concerned that a small event could lead to taking off the table, landowner’s property rights, and the people that want to develop those property rights on behalf of land owners.”

Shale drilling critics also don’t think much of the state’s new cautionary move.

Ray Beiersdorfer, a geology professor at Youngstown State, would prefer if someone other than the companies did the monitoring. And even if the action may be the most stringent in the nation, he says its lax compared to some other countries.

“They had fracking-induced earthquakes in England, and the British geological survey was much more explicit and restrictive in their conditions.”

A series of quakes last month rattled homes in parts of Trumbull County, and state officials acted because they believe hydraulic fracturing had a role.

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