Investigation looks at reports of gasses leaking into Texas communities

Mayra Moreno Image
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Poisonous gas making Texas residents sick, report finds
A piece by the Houston Chronicle found that companies are releasing toxic gas near schools and homes, and little is being done to stop them.

Poisonous gasses are leaking in some Texas communities, and residents are desperately trying to get help, but to no avail.

The latest investigative report from the Houston Chronicle, in partnership with The Examination, which is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates global health threats, shows oil companies are leaking toxic gas near schools and homes, and regulators are doing little to stop them.

Those living near these facilities, such as in Odessa, Texas, are getting sick and experiencing headaches, nausea, and stomach aches.

The gas is hydrogen sulfide, H2S, which is an invisible gas and smells like rotten eggs. Will Evans, the senior reporter from The Examination, told Eyewitness News that the team spent months investigating and combing through hundreds of state records.

"We found that even when the state fines oil companies repeatedly releasing this gas into the air near where people live, the companies don't face consequences, and inspectors keep coming back over and over to the same sites where these gasses are coming out and no one seems to put a stop to it," Evans said. "State employees have become so sick from the gas they have fled."

You can take a look at their report and an interactive map showing the hot spots on the Houston Chronicle's website.

The reporters hope that their investigation will draw attention to the issue and result in action to help affected families.

For news updates, follow Mayra Moreno on Facebook, X and Instagram.