After a minor earthquake rippled through northeast Ohio early this year, there were claims a well used to dispose of fluid used in other gas and oil wells was the cause. Because such injection wells are not uncommon, that was - and is - a serious concern.
Operators of the injection well near Youngstown doubted the contention. They want to conduct tests to determine whether seismic activity indeed can be caused or aggravated by activity such as their well. So the company, D&L Energy, asked state regulators for permission to re-open the closed well for such testing.
That was in February. D&L still is waiting for state approval, according to The Associated Press.
State officials were wise to issue a moratorium on injection well operations within a five-mile radius of the facility in question. Again, if injection wells can cause earthquakes, new limits on them should be implemented, not just in Ohio but everywhere.
Without testing of the Youngstown-area well, it is difficult to understand how state regulators and legislators can decide how to proceed, however.
D&L should be given permission to re-open the well for testing - with the involvement of qualified experts from the state. The sooner answers can be obtained concerning the purported link between injection wells and earthquakes, the better.