Oil Pollution In Hardin County

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Other times, strangers acquired shelter in barns and sheds. Still, in other instances people slept on the ground in the open air. Within a few years of the start of the oil boom hundred’s of new homes had been constructed. By 1914 the population of the town had already diminished to around twenty-eight hundred people, but it would never recede to the paltry forty to one hundred citizens it had been before the oil boom. In 1901, due to the many people living in town the streets and land became a quagmire of mud and muck. Dirt roads constructed with only a hundred people in mind suddenly had thousands running over them. So much mud existed between oil derricks and on the streets that the men working created their own walkways between …show more content…
Therefore, when the gushers came in or oil leaked onto the ground it soaked into the soil or created ponds of oil. This alone created an environmental hazard, completely saturating the earth with pollution. Hardin County, previously known for it’s lumber industry and rice farmers could easily have polluted entire fields of crops. Additionally, these pits of oil frequently ignited which created an increased chance of fires in the oil fields and also in the town that resided close by. These fires contributed to the environmental pollution that continued over the course of early oil production in the area. The first laws enacted to help protect ground water passed around 1914, but around mid-nineteenth century saw the first agencies created to combat environmental pollution. W.T. Block states, “Fifty percent of all gusher oil was discarded as waste. In 1929, after many years of continuous drilling, with nothing to replace the oil taken from the ground, a large sinkhole 200 feet deep fell into the earth. In 1980 a reporter wrote, “the sinkhole was caused when large amounts of oil, water and sand were pumped from beneath the caprock. The crater filled with rain water creating a 12-acre lake.” The people of Sour Lake were likely unhappy with how crowded their town had become, with the sight of hundreds of oil derricks literally surrounding the town, and the horrid smell …show more content…
Only six years later in May of 1901 the price for one acre of land had increased to between twenty and thirty dollars. One month after that, several newspapers showed land for sale at over one hundred dollars an acre. The newspaper real estate ads during 1901 are filled with lands for sale in the Sour Lake area. Land sales increased exponentially during this time. Many of the residents of Sour Lake who chose to sell their land made huge profits from the sale. However, while many of Sour Lake’s citizens made large profits others were swindled out of their rightful share by crooks and thieves. These individuals came into town early in the boom and bought up land as cheap as they could then they would break it up into smaller lots and sell it off for exorbitant amounts. At times the land sold for as little as “one thirty-second of an acre.” A 1902 newspaper stated, “An attempt is being made by parties who were interested here and sold prior to the boom to discredit reports of the recent oil strike, in view of forcing a reduction in land prices.” This article shows how some people attempted to sway land prices to buy land cheap from the residents. The summer of 1901 proved to be an exciting time for the residents of Sour Lake. Many people came into the city looking to buy land and ready to start drilling for oil. It would still be another year before they struck a big

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