Fracking foes challenge Ohio earthquake assurances

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A concerned citizens' group in a northeast Ohio region where earthquakes have been tied to fracking says it won't take the word of state regulators that new permitting guidelines adequately address public safety.

Youngstown-based Frackfree Mahoning Valley plans a news conference Wednesday to discuss persisting concerns.

A state geologist's finding released last week for the first time linked earthquakes in the Utica Shale to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique used to access oil and gas deposits. The state's review called the link "probable."

The finding led Ohio to issue a moratorium on fracking within three miles of the seismic activity's epicenter and to issue new permit conditions viewed as among the nation's strictest.

The anti-fracking group says a Youngstown State University geologist has identified 12 earthquakes near fracking activity.

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