Jim Wells County, population 41,000, sits just outside the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, site of one of the nation's biggest oil booms. The number of wells in the Eagle Ford's 26 counties could quadruple from about 8,000 today to 32,000 by 2018, according to a study commissioned by the state.
With all that drilling comes mountains of waste that typically contains benzene and other chemicals found in hydraulic fracturing, along with heavy metals and other contaminants from deep underground.
Image: A truck drips with oil waste in Jim Wells County. The driver was cited for use of an unmarked vehicle and of disposing of oil and gas waste on a roadway. Credit: Hector Zertuche