- Associated Press - Friday, April 11, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquake activity in the Marcellus Shale basin to hydraulic fracturing, confirming the suspicions of activists pushing for drilling limits in the interest of public health.

State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers told The Associated Press on Friday that a state investigation of five small tremors in the Youngstown area last month has found a probable link.

He said Ohio is setting new permitting conditions in earthquake-sensitive areas and has halted drilling indefinitely at the site of the March quakes.

A seismologist with the U.S. Department of Interior said it’s the first time seismic activity has been linked to Marcellus shale exploration that’s swept the northeastern United States over the past several years.

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