Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.19(Community Matters) Inside Climate News and the Center for Public Integrity: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale.

Our eight-month investigation reveals the dangers that come with releasing a toxic soup of chemicals into the air and just how little the government of Texas knows – or wants to know – about it.

The Buehrings complained to the TCEQ in 2012, prompting investigators to check out several Marathon Oil facilities near their home. At one point the emissions were so high, the investigators wrote in their report, that they “evacuated the area quickly to prevent exposure.” Marathon, a Houston-based company worth nearly $25 billion at the end of 2013, reported that it fixed the problem and was not fined.

Chemicals released during oil and gas extraction include hydrogen sulfide, a deadly gas found in abundance in Eagle Ford wells; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, a known carcinogen; sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which irritate the lungs; and other harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and carbon disulfide. VOCs also mix with nitrogen oxides emitted from field equipment to create ozone, a major respiratory hazard.

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