The Ohio Department of Natural Resources placed a moratorium on further pumping of waste liquids in an area five miles around a disposal well located near Youngstown after the 10th earthquake hit the region on December 24th. In response, the owner of the well, D&L Energy Group of Youngstown, stopped injection at 5 p.m. last Friday. There was a another quake the next day.
The latest quake, the 11th since mid-March, occurred Saturday afternoon and with a magnitude of 4.0 was the strongest yet. Like the others, it was centered near a well that has been used for the disposal of millions of gallons of brine and other waste liquids produced at natural-gas wells, mostly in Pennsylvania.
Scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (at Columbia University) are analyzing the recent seismographic data to try to pinpoint the fault that slipped.
There are no other disposal wells operating in the area, but four more were in the planning stages and have now been put on hold because of the moratorium.
Occupy Youngstown staged a protest at one of the proposed sites in Hubbard Township earlier this month.