DEP probes 2 small quakes near fracking site

NEW CASTLE (AP) – The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigation whether fracking contributed to two small earthquakes near a western Pennsylvania drilling operation.

DEP spokeswoman Melanie Williams says Hilcorp Energy Co. stopped fracking at the Mahoning Township site on about noon Monday. That was about 12 hours after the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 1.9-magnitude earthquake and about 10 hours before another quake of the same size was recorded.

A woman who answered the company’s phone in New Castle on Thursday referred The Associated Press to a spokesman at the company’s Houston headquarters, where he was not immediately available.

Williams says Hilcorp was fracking two wells on a four-well pad about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh when the first quake occurred.

There were no reports of property damage.