For the better part of a decade, Rev. David Hudson has been fighting to uncover what’s polluting the water in his home town.
Hudson moved to DeBerry, Texas, a poor, predominantly black community straddling the Louisiana border in 2002.
DeBerry lies in the heart of the Haynesville Shale natural gas development. When Hudson moved in, the area was littered with injection wells used to deposit waste from oil and gas drilling deep beneath the earth.
The well sites – often located just a few yards from residents’ doorsteps – were busy industrial zones clogged with truck traffic and holding tanks. Oil stains spattered the ground around pipes where waste was pumped underground.
Hudson said he soon noticed that his well water had a metallic flavor and a sharp smell. Congregants in his church told him theirs was cloudy and salty to taste, leaving rings in toilets and sinks. They said they had been complaining to Texas officials since 1996, yet no one had investigated.
“Our cries, they just fall on deaf ears,” Hudson said.