More than a year after a string of earthquakes prompted Ohio to enact tougher rules on disposal wells for fracking wastewater, researchers are still working to understand the extent of the risk.
Seismologists say the state has generally done a good job mapping and monitoring its seismic activity, but there is still much work to come.
The link between the wells and earthquakes has strengthened in recent years, with Ohio regulators connecting as many as a dozen man-made temblors to the injection of gas-drilling wastewater deep into the earth. In response, officials have implemented new rules designed to adequately prepare parts of the state for future drilling activity.
The new policies determine the strain wastewater injection puts on fault lines. With the region’s financial future so heavily reliant on fracking, Ohio is also attempting to better understand the network of geological faults that encompass this underground economic boon, and the potential danger they represent.