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The QueQue

The QueQue: Nursing home whistleblowers fired, Lamar Smith's 'Holiday on ICE', TCEQ tracking emissions in the Eagle Ford

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Renowned environmental scientist and activist Wilma Subra says she's reviewed TCEQ investigations on four production sites in DeWitt County the agency released under an open records request last month. "They all showed elevated emissions, which is what you'd expect at a site like that," Subra said.

"The issue here is these flyovers were done unknown to the company and, of course, they found plenty of leaks. … Just because a company voluntarily goes back and fixes it for [the TCEQ] doesn't mean they're going to be fixed forever," she said. "It's just a snapshot in time, and if they go back again, I'm sure they'll continue to find these leaks. That's what we've seen elsewhere."

Subra said toxic emissions she's tracked in North Texas' Barnett Shale and the northeast's Marcellus Shale has resulted in health impacts, including respiratory problems and headaches. "These [emissions] may even impact neurological functions of the body, cause skin rashes, those types of things," she said.

Last month the Colorado School of Public Health published its own study showing emissions from the fracking process may pose a health risk to residents living close to production sites, finding potentially toxic airborne chemicals near production sites in Colorado. •

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Photo by Veronica Luna
MARCH MADNESS. Thousands marched from the West Side to Alamo Plaza Saturday in honor of César Chávez

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