"Some Texans who challenge oil and gas waste sites must spend significant sums and time on investigating what they say the Texas Railroad Commission should examine. Will new regulations for handling waste increase oversight or just maintain the status quo?"
"Less than a year after an oilfield waste disposal site opened near Tara Jones’ home in 2019, she and her family noticed a foul odor.
They lived a half-mile away, amid the mesquite trees and pastures west of Corpus Christi. But the sour smell from the Blackhorn Environmental Services site was potent.
Jones would later learn her neighbors had been complaining for months about Blackhorn’s waste pits near the town of Orange Grove, population 1,300. Neighbors later said they sneezed, coughed, got itchy eyes and, on the worst days, felt nauseated.
When the stench reached her house, it became a regular nuisance for Jones, her husband Calvert and their two children — to the degree that she started keeping a written log. She complained to the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the oil, gas and pipeline industries. After one especially bad night, when the odor gave her a headache and made her sick to her stomach, she intensified her efforts. She began filing public records requests with the Railroad Commission and poring over thousands of pages of documents."