Ohio state officials are looking into whether a Northeastern Ohio fracking operation could have caused a series of earthquakes in Mahoning County, which borders Pennsylvania, on Monday, according to a Columbus Dispatch news article.

On Monday, state officials ordered Hilcorp Energy, a Texas-based energy and drilling company, to shut down an active fracking operation near Lowellville after four earthquakes were felt in the area.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

“It’s an area which (before 2011) had no history of earthquakes,” said John Armbruster, a retired Columbia University geology professor who had worked with Ohio officials to monitor a recent series of earthquakes tied to a fracking-waste injection well near Youngstown.

“It looks very, very suspicious.”

The state said Monday’s earthquakes were not caused by injection wells. If they were caused by a fracking well, it would be the first such event in Ohio and maybe in the United States.

Yesterday, ODNR [Ohio Department of Natural Resources] spokesman Mark Bruce emailed a statement: “Activity will remain suspended until further notice. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution after analyzing location and magnitude data provided by U.S. Geological Services.”

PublicSource wrote about a group of residents who attempted to get a ban on fracking passed in Youngstown after a series of earthquakes hit the area in 2011 and early 2012.

Read the full story here.

We don't have paywalls — but your support helps us bridge crucial information gaps.

Readers tell us they can't find the information they get from our reporting anywhere else, and we're glad to provide this important service for our community. We work hard to produce accurate, timely, impactful journalism without paywalls that keeps our region informed and moving forward.

However, only about .1% of the people who read our stories contribute to our work financially. Our newsroom depends on the generosity of readers like yourself to make our high-quality local journalism possible, and the costs of the resources it takes to produce it have been rising, so each member means a lot to us.

Your donation to our nonprofit newsroom helps ensure everyone in Allegheny County can stay up-to-date about decisions and events that affect them. Please make your gift of support now.

Natasha is PublicSource's creative director. She runs the organizations visuals team, edits and produces interactive graphics, data visualizations and web packages for PublicSource. She manages the website...