In Fracking’s Wake: Vast Open Pits of Chemical Sludge – MULTIMEDIA

A pond brimming with oil and gas wastewater in Frio County, Texas has local officials worried because they don’t know what’s in the liquid or what emissions maybe resulting from evaporation. Credit: David Hasemyer/InsideClimate News

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Big Oil + Bad Air is an 18-month investigation by InsideClimate News and the Center for Public Integrity.

The latest installment tackles a little-covered issue: air emissions from the waste that America’s drilling boom has created.

InsideClimate News reporters David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji show that because of a 1988 exemption from federal hazardous-waste laws sought by the oil and gas industry, the waste is classified as non-hazardous. That’s left waste pits virtually unregulated and put nearby residents at risk of exposure to chemicals like benzene, which can cause cancer. The exemption, meanwhile, has saved oil and gas producers huge amounts of money.

The story uses traditional and multimedia reporting—including a video documentary by the Center for Public Integrity, plus photographs and infographics.

►EXPERIENCE the full multimedia presentation of In Fracking’s Wake: Vast Open Pits of Chemical Sludge through our easy-to-read ICN Books format.

►WATCH the video by Eleanor Bell of the Center for Public Integrity on the fight emerging in Nordheim, Texas over the waste pits:

►LISTEN to an audio version of the story by Texas Public Radio and Inside Energy:

the elements of the project’s original investigation, Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil & Bad Air on the Texas Prairie.