"Frank and Wanda Leppell once lived on a quiet cattle ranch in the middle of a rolling prairie, the lowing of cattle and the chirping of sparrows forming a pleasant soundtrack to their mornings. No more.
Not since the pasture they began leasing in 2009 became part of one of the nation's most productive new oil fields. Not since a well barely 200 yards from their front porch began shooting a torch of burning gas skyward, 24 hours a day, with a force as loud as a jet engine.
"My bedroom's like day — I don't need a night light," said Wanda Leppell, who has pleaded with state officials — so far without success — to do something. Her husband minces fewer words. "Rotten noise," he says. "Rotten smell, and terrible waste.""