Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Public Health. 2016 Mar;106(3):550-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.303000. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Wastewater Disposal Wells, Fracking, and Environmental Injustice in Southern Texas.

Author information

1
Jill E. Johnston is with the Division of Environmental Health, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Emily Werder is with the Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Daniel Sebastian is with the Curriculum on the Environmental and Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate race and poverty in areas where oil and gas wastewater disposal wells, which are used to permanently inject wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations, are permitted.

METHODS:

With location data of oil and gas disposal wells permitted between 2007 and 2014 in the Eagle Ford area, a region of intensive fracking in southern Texas, we analyzed the racial composition of residents living less than 5 kilometers from a disposal well and those farther away, adjusting for rurality and poverty, using a Poisson regression.

RESULTS:

The proportion of people of color living less than 5 kilometers from a disposal well was 1.3 times higher than was the proportion of non-Hispanic Whites. Adjusting for rurality, disposal wells were 2.04 times (95% confidence interval = 2.02, 2.06) as common in areas with 80% people of color or more than in majority White areas. Disposal wells are also disproportionately sited in high-poverty areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

Wastewater disposal wells in southern Texas are disproportionately permitted in areas with higher proportions of people of color and residents living in poverty, a pattern known as "environmental injustice."

PMID:
26794166
PMCID:
PMC4816143
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2015.303000
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center