EARTHWORKS

Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale

Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale
Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom

Published: September 19, 2013

By: Sharon Wilson, Lisa Sumi, Wilma Subra

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From the report SUMMARY (7 pages)

In an unprecedented investigation of oil and gas operations and government oversight in Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale, Earthworks reports a toxic mix of irresponsible industry operators and negligent regulators, and the families who suffer the consequences. Specifically, Reckless Endangerment while Fracking the Eagle Ford, reveals:

  1. Residents requested state regulators provide relief from oil and gas air pollution;
  2. Regulators discovered pollution so dangerous they evacuated themselves;
  3. Regulators took no subsequent action to warn or otherwise protect the residents at risk;
  4. Regulators took no subsequent action to penalize the responsible company;
  5. Residents continue to live with exposure to dangerous oil and gas air pollution.

Oil and gas operations in shale formations release chemicals to air, water, and soil that are hazardous to human health.

Government shares the blame for these releases because rules governing oil and gas development don’t protect the public. Adding insult to injury, state regulators don’t reliably enforce these rules. By failing to deter reckless operator behavior, regulators practically condone it, thereby increasing health risks for residents living near oil and gas development.

Report materials:

VIDEOS

NOTE: Apart from the Cerny's interview, the following videos show emissions that are invisible to the naked eye. One otherwise wouldn't suspect that the tanks and other infrastructure could be a threat to public health, but using a special FLIR GasFind infrared camera you can see the highly active volatile chemicals -- like benzene -- escaping into the air and crossing the fenceline. The camera does not quantify, nor does the camera speciate the compounds that are detected.

The Cernys tell their story


The following chronological sequence of videos shows the Marathon Sugarhorn Facility near the Cerny family. It shows fracking-related air pollution continuing over the span of more than one year.

FLIR Video taken by TCEQ at Marathon's Sugarhorn Facility on June 15, 2012, obtained by Public Information Request.

FLIR Video taken by TCEQ at Marathon's Sugarhorn Facility on June 15, 2012, obtained by Public Information Request.

FLIR Video taken by TCEQ at Marathon's Sugarhorn Facility on August 15, 2012, and September 5, 2012, obtained by Public Information Request.

FLIR Video taken at Marathon's Sugarhorn Facility during Earthworks' air investigation with ShaleTest March 2013.


The subsequent videos were taken by ShaleTest. All are in close proximity to residences in Karnes County in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Tagged with: texas, tceq, health, fracking, enforcement, eagle ford shale, benzene, air pollution

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@cbs11jack @CBS11 You have neither corrected a clear error, nor have you approved a comment on your site noting the error. Disappointing.
MT @TXsharon: Verified: frackers think status quo is “responsible drilling” bit.ly/10aZq6j #fracking

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