Ohio is issuing the first new permits for deep injection of chemically injected water from oil and gas drilling since an earthquake in the northeastern part of the state raised concerns about the process’ safety.
Rick Simmers, the head of Ohio’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources, handed out the permits to sites in Athens, Portage, and Washington counties, with another 28 sites to be permitted in the coming months, according to the Associated Press.
Simmers says state officials are confident in new regulations including ample safeguards to protect against quakes.
Gov. John Kasich restricted drilling within a seven-mile radius of an injection site in Youngstown, after it was linked to 12 quakes in the area.
Simmers says those restrictions are no longer in effect.