Fifth earthquake rattles valley Tuesday morning - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Fifth earthquake rattles valley Tuesday morning

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POLAND TWP., Ohio - The U.S. Geological Survey reports a fifth earthquake in two days at the Carbon Limestone Landfill in Poland.


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is asking the company with oil and gas wells near the epicenter of Monday's four earthquakes to suspend its operations until further notice.

Hilcorp Energy Company says it has seven wells on two pads on the Carbon Limestone Landfill site  in the township. Only one of the seven wells was producing oil and gas as of Monday. 

Hilcorp says it's "cooperating fully with ODNR's review of our Poland activities". The company was asked to suspend all oil and gas drilling following the four earthquakes.

The state is now working to determine what triggered the nearby seismic events. 

ODNR Spokesperson Mark Bruce says the state "will review logs that contain information regarding drilling, cementing, stimulation and completion of the wells. ODNR's review will be complete and thorough and will take as long as necessary."

Youngstown State University Geology Professor Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer says ODNR has a set of remote seismic graphs that help locate an earthquake's trigger point.

"To pinpoint it, you need to be about as far away from the epicenter as how deep you think it is," he says. "They would want to be a two to three mile radius and put the stations around that location and that would help them to better pinpoint where exactly this is happening."

Frack Free Mahoning Valley is one group against fracking in Ohio and its members are not shy from sharing how they feel about it.

"They're turning our neighborhoods into industrialized zones, and there's not one part of this that is safe," John Williams says, a member of the group.

The state maintains it's too early to draw any conclusions as to what really caused the earthquakes. 

"It would be premature to draw any conclusions without examining all the data associated with these events," Bruce says.

It's not known how long Hilcorp will have to pause on its drilling plans. Drilling on Hilcorp's first pads on the property began in November 2012. 
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