"Plumes of toxic, smog-causing chemicals from Barnett Shale natural-gas operations are so common that inspectors find them nearly every time they look, a Dallas Morning News examination of government records shows.
What's more, the inspectors have rarely looked.
Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The News under federal and state open-records laws, plus other reports and studies, reveal a pattern of emissions of toxic compounds, often including cancer-causing benzene, from Barnett Shale facilities.
More than 90 percent of the gas-processing plants, compressor stations and wells that agencies have examined with leak-detecting infrared cameras since 2007 were lofting otherwise invisible plumes of chemicals. In the most recent surveillance late last year, every facility checked was emitting pollution.
Many were near homes, emblematic of drilling's spread into North Texas urban areas."