Drilling tip line yielded scores of allegations, but no criminal cases
In February 2011, a resident of a western Pennsylvania town noticed that her water was black and "had a very strong metallic odor." That same month, in Texas, several people in one neighborhood smelled rotten eggs and experienced symptoms that ranged from nausea to face paralysis. And in West Virginia, one resident accused an oil and gas company of kidnapping a neighbor to obtain permission for drilling rights. Ranging from credible to dubious, from coherent to irrational, the hundreds of tips that U.S. EPA received through its "Eyes on Drilling" tip line paint an eclectic picture of the fears that plague residents who live near oil and natural gas developments. For the last three years, people called and emailed the agency at all times of the day and night to report illegal dumping, suspicious smells and cloudy water.