“TCEQ Memo Proves Toxic Chemicals Are Being Released in the Eagle Ford Shale”

November 20, 2014 

Ever since the fracking boom reawakened the oil & gas industry in south Texas, landowners in the Eagle Ford Shale have been complaining that the fumes from drilling rigs, wells and saltwater injection sites is making them sick. We spoke with several residents who have documented cases against oil companies due to their health problems. We also contacted another homeowner who is suing a saltwater disposal company as well as the state after the Texas Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allowed a saltwater disposal injection site to open and operate less than 200 feet from his front door. Despite repeated efforts to stall and block the release of the document, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a TCEQ inter-office memo which shows TCEQ investigators found extremely high levels of benzene and other Volatile Organic Compounds (many known carcinogens) in the front yard of that homeowner. Since our effort to secure that document, TCEQ has hurriedly prepared the Toxicology report on their investigation of this facility in January of 2014. A typical toxicology report is filed within 30 days. Our pushing has led TCEQ and the TRC to refuse multiple requests for an on-camera interview and has the TCEQ clumsily trying to justify its failure to warn the residents about the toxic chemicals in their front yard. We plan to continue investigating this story in the coming months.

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Submitted by Michael Humphries.

Headliners Foundation