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Abandoned Oil Wells Raise Fears of Pollution

Published: June 8, 2013

LULING, Tex. — Amid the dry weeds on a 470-acre ranch here, a rusted head of steel pokes up, a vestige of an oil well abandoned decades ago. Across the field stand two huge, old wooden oil tanks, one of them tilting like a smokestack on the Titanic.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

“Basically I get 61 acres here I can’t do anything with,” STUART CARTER, a landowner who has old, abandoned oil equipment on his property.

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“Basically I get 61 acres here I can’t do anything with,” said Stuart Carter, the landowner, who is in a legal dispute with the oil producer operating on part of his ranch over who should clean up the site. Mr. Carter fears that the oil well, probably dating to the 1930s, could create a pathway for saltwater or oil to contaminate the groundwater.

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