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On Fronteras: Oil Drilling With Plasma, Workers Exposed To Toxins, Rio Grande Wildlife

Novas Energy

Drillers Find Ways To Reach Oil Trapped In Old Wells

Just a few years ago, there was a lot of news about fracking, the technique revolutionizing the oil-drilling business. That business has plummeted with the drop in the price of oil.  Now, drillers are using everything from electrically-induced shock waves to acid to get out oil left behind by conventional drilling.  Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media introduces us to plasma pulse technology.

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Chemical Company Exposed Workers to Hazardous Solvents

Two months ago, KUNM reported how cancer-causing solvents quietly seeped from a laundry supply warehouse into the groundwater underneath dozens of homes and businesses near downtown Albuquerque. The leak occurred over a period of decades and today the plume of contamination stretches a mile and a half across the city, putting hundreds of people at risk of chemical exposure.  In this follow up, KUNM’s Ed Williams reports, government records show that warehouse employees were exposed to toxins from the plume.

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Houston Residents Capture Health Hazards In Photos

In some Houston neighborhoods, residents face health concerns, and they found a unique way to express them.  Syeda Hasan of Houston Public Media explains.

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Lawsuit May Change Rio Grande Dam Flow To Benefit Wildlife

Cochiti  Dam ​just south of Santa Fe New Mexico ​is one of the largest earthen dams in the country. And the Rio Grande was transformed after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished building it in the 1970s.  Some communities downstream experienced serious negative impacts, and the rivers ecosystem suffered. ​As KUNM’s Rita Daniels reports for Fronteras, a lawsuit may have federal water managers shifting the way they manipulate water flows out of the dam to support wildlife.

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Van Horn, Texas:  An Interstate At The Crossroads

One of the most unique towns in West Texas is the interstate stop of Van Horn.  Marfa Public Radio's Tom Michael reports on its history and the people who travel through there.

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Virginia joined Texas Public Radio in September, 2015. Prior to hosting and producing Fronteras for TPR, she worked at WBOI in Indiana to report on often overlooked stories in the community. Virginia began her reporting career at the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting.