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Anti-fracking activists rally in the Valley

By Brandon Klein

Thursday, January 1, 2015

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By Brandon Klein


Freezing temperatures didn’t stop anti-fracking activists from marking the third anniversary of the Northstar 1 injection well New Year’s Eve earthquake.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley conducted commemorative events to remember the magnitude-4.0 quake that took place at 3:04 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2011. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources later said the quake was induced by the Northstar 1 injection well.

That finding followed months of Vindicator reporting about the links between that well and a spate of earthquakes.

There were two other earthquake incidents related to fracking operations in the Valley last year. On March 10, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 shook Poland Township. It was linked to a fracking operation by Hilcorp Energy Co. at the Carbon Limestone Landfill.

Last September, the ODNR shut down two injection wells operated by the American Water Management Services in Weathersfield, after a magnitude-2.1 earthquake occurred on Aug. 31. The shallower well at the site eventually reopened a few weeks later after the shutdown.

“They cannot do this [fracking] safely as the technology stands,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, a spokeswoman for Frackfree Mahoning Valley.

The gatherings occurred at three locations Wednesday: the Youngstown rally occurred downtown; the Weathersfield rally was in Niles; and the Poland Township gathering occurred on Moore Road.