Pennsylvania to release findings on fracking, quakes

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are set to release the findings of their investigation into a series of minor earthquakes that took place near fracking operations by an oil and gas company



HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania environmental regulators are set to release the findings of their investigation into a series of minor earthquakes that took place near fracking operations by an oil and gas company.

The temblors, all too weak to be felt by humans, were recorded last April in Lawrence County, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh and three-quarters of a mile from a natural gas well owned by Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. No damage was reported.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has been investigating. Regulators are releasing their findings on Friday. DEP notes the quakes had a “marked ... relationship” to Hilcorp’s drilling operation in terms of timing and location.

Fracking, a method to extract gas or oil from underground shale, has been tied to earthquakes in neighboring Ohio and other states, but never in Pennsylvania, the nation’s No. 2 natural gas-producing state.

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