Earthquake in Gilmer County
By Erica Kearns
Around an hour’s drive from Clay County, the town of Glenville was shaken by an earthquake on Tuesday. The 2.8 magnitude earthquake happened around 2:00 am. The U.S. Geological Survey places the epicenter of the earthquake to be 7 miles south-southwest of Glenville. This is the second microquake to hit the area in less than two weeks. Thankfully no injuries or damages resulted from the earthquake.
Gilmer County 911 Director Bill Rowan said the emergency center starting receiving calls from the residents of the Normantown area, reporting some something going on. Rowan told the Gilmer Free Press that the area where this occurred is close to a Marcellus Shale drilling site but he doesn’t know what caused the ground to shake.
The correlation of the epicenter of the quake and the location of the drilling site has raised concerns about seismic activity linked to the injection wells used to store waste water generated during hydraulic fracturing of shale. A study done by Stanford University shows that forcing fluids underground, either while hydraulic fracturing of shale rock to release gas and oil, or when shooting waste water into injection wells, routinely produces “micro-seismic events”.
Concerned residents of the area have planned a meeting at Normantown Elementary School on Thursday, August 1 at 6:30 pm to discuss the recent earthquakes and the fracking operations.