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Ohio Utica Shale

Paper: Map, earthquake led to dismissal of Ohio geologist

By Bob Downing Published: June 9, 2012

The Athens News reported that state geologist Larry Wickstrom was dismissed because he failed to inform superiors about a new map of potential Utica shale hot spots and also neglected to tell them about a January earthquake near Youngstown.

That information came from Wickstrom's state personnel file that was released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the newspaper.

He remains as ODNR employee although he is no longer chief of the Division of Geological Survey.

The revised map came out in March and cooled drilling enthusiams in some southern Ohio counties.

Earlier maps had indicated that those counties were in prime locations for attracting drillers.

Wickstrom's superiors said the revised map had been questioned by what they called "outside scientific reviews."

The file also notes that Wickstrom failed to notify superiors of Jan. 13 earthquake in Mahoning County until Jan. 17.

The quake was one of 13 tied to now-closed injection well near Youngstown that handles drilling wastes.

The files also suggest that Wickstrom was less than objective about the Utica shale boom and was too closely tied to the drilling industry, the paper reported.

ODNR has refused comment on Wickstrom's departure, calling it an internal personnel matter.

He worked 29 years for the agency. Wickstrom has declined comment.

 

 

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