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Eagle Ford: Group asks oil, gas companies to be accountable for actions
Wilma Subra, president of Subra Co. (left), and Sharon Wilson, oil and gas activist, prepare data for an Eagle Ford shale information meeting Sept. 23 in Snoga’s Store in Panna Maria.
PANNA MARIA -- Landowners and residents in the Eagle Ford shale area now have some resources to find answers or file complaints related to oil and gas exploration in the area, after a town-hall style meeting here Sept. 23.
The meeting held at Snoga’s Store was led by Sharon Wilson, an oil and gas activist, and Wilma Subra, president of Subra Co. -- a chemistry lab and consulting firm from Louisiana. They outlined agencies to contact if someone believes oil-gas exploration is suspected as a source of health or environmental issues and where to file complaints.
Karnes County is the top oil-producing county in Texas, the organizers said, with 625 producing oil wells and 182 producing natural gas and condensate wells associated with the Eagle Ford shale.
Wilson said numerous complaints have been filed in Karnes County with state regulators regarding the smell, dust, and health impact residents associate with the oil and gas exploration. This led one family to seek help from an organization called Earthworks.
“Earthworks has been working with communities and residents living in close proximity to oil and gas development to address potential links between health impacts and oil and gas development,” according to the organization’s literature.
Earthworks and ShaleTest investigated “fugitive emissions” or pollutants from drilling, fracking, and well completion near the family’s home.
The organization suggested “flaring” -- or burning off gases from the wells -- could be a factor in some complaints.
During the flare process, Earthworks states that the mixture of gases emitted includes methane, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and other volatile organic compounds.
Using infrared cameras, emissions not visible with the naked eye could be seen on video taken by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Earthworks alleged that proper samples for air quality could not be taken from the well sites targeted, due to the pollution levels being too dangerous.
For more information about fracking from separate perspectives, visit www.earthworksaction.org, http://herit.ag/10FIYJy, or www.fracknation.com.
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