This post was originally published on www.texassharon.com It features a new report published today by Earthworks Action that details an unacceptable dereliction of duty on the part of regulators charged with protecting the public from pollution. It is yet another example of how America’s oil & gas boom is poisoning our democracy, as well as our land, water, air and people.
New Report: Reckless Endangerment while Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale
Regulators evacuate from dangerous levels of pollution, residents left trapped
Washington, DC – A new report released today, September 19th, provides an important window into a disturbing national pattern regarding the oversight of fracking-enabled oil and gas development: regulators, charged with protecting the public, are actively avoiding evidence that fracking is harming the public. The report focuses on Karnes County, TX in an attempt to illuminate a growing national pattern of absentee regulators.
“This isn’t living anymore. It’s just existing, and wondering what you are going to breathe in next,” said impacted Eagle Ford Shale resident Mike Cerny in his interview with the report author.
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, negligent regulators, and the families who suffer the consequences. Specifically, Reckless Endangerment while Fracking the Eagle Ford, reveals:
- Residents faced with industry pollution desperate for help,
- Regulators documented pollution so dangerous that they evacuated,
- Regulators took no recorded action to protect or warn residents, nor penalize polluting companies; and
- Residents are still living with the dangerous air pollution including cancer-causing toxics like benzene.
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.