Neighbors of Oil and Gas is a collaboration between Rio Grande International Study Center, Environmental Defense Fund, and Texas Impact-Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy. The organizations have partnered to provide residents and communities of the Eagle Ford Shale information pertaining to recognizing and effectively reporting incidents and changes in environmental quality from oil and gas activity. The project aims to bring clarity and transparency to both the risks and the complaint process for the whole community.
The number of new, permitted oil and gas wells in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas quickly expanded from 26 in 2008 to more than 5,600 in 2014. Although 2015 has seen a decline in oil and gas activity due to low oil prices, the Eagle Ford Shale remains one of the most productive oil fields in the nation — bringing with it real risks to the surrounding communities’ air, soil, water, and health. These risks are complicated by lack of Spanish-language resources at regulatory agencies, a particularly pertinent issue in rural South Texas, where large populations are linguistically isolated.
Neighbors of Oil and Gas workshops have addressed different types of health and environmental risks that can occur during oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing. Our vision is that an informed populace will make incident reports, providing the state with additional information. With better datasets, investigators can identify patterns and work with industry and prevent contamination incidents in the future. We believe this will help create safer communities for those living among oil and gas development.
RGISC and EDF hosted five bilingual workshops in La Salle, Dimmit, Webb, Karnes, and DeWitt counties in 2014. Texas Impact-Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy joined the partnership in 2015. The information covered at past workshops, as well as additional resources, can be found on this site.
For more information, call (512) 691-3442 or send an email.