I've been tracking a Montague County class II commercial injection well used for Barnett Shale drilling waste for several years now and started photographing the facility in October 2007.
Here are the pictures taken by me on 10-05-07, just after this facility was inspected by the Texas Railroad Commission on 9-27-07, and found "safe and clean." Dark spots from chemical spills are clearly visible on the ground. The site is poorly maintained and alarmingly out of compliance.
On 11-21-07, I checked to see if there were any improvements. You can see that the only improvements are a painted fence and new sign. Brandon Evans of the Wise County Messenger wrote an excellent article about the well in which he explained that the same chemical spillage found on the site had washed into the nearby creek bed killing all the surrounding vegetation. (The creek feeds into Denton Creek which flows into Lake Grapevine which is a municipal water source.)
After taking more pictures, tracing down the owner to discover that his license has been revoked on 3 other businesses and making a formal complaint, the RRC conducted another inspection. They noted a number of violations including NORM that was not labeled, and said that the operator would be fined, face legal action and the well would be shut in until it meets regulation.
Imagine our surprise when the Messenger reporter, photographer and I found the facility still operating the next day. The operator can continue polluting the environment for the next 10 days.
Stopped by Activists.
This is a first! LINK to decision. This is a groundbreaking case that will help others in similar fights. Read more about it here.