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Bill Wight looks at the well that was leaking high volumes of salt water on his land Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Crane County.

“Nobody really knows what you’re supposed to do”: Leaking, exploding abandoned wells wreak havoc in West Texas

The Texas Railroad Commission is tasked with plugging wells. But the state regulators say their scope is limited.

by Carlos Nogueras Ramos, The Texas Tribune, and Martha Pskowski, Inside Climate News

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Railroad Commission touts swift response

A pit built to collect the leaking water is seen Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 on Bill Wight’s land in Crane County. Crews contracted by the Railroad Commission of Texas would then further haul the collected water offsite.

Saltwater flooding clusters in the Permian Basin

Bill Wight on his property in Crane County

Trying to avert the next flood

Cause of blowouts perplexes experts

Soil tinged white from high levels of salt caused by the leaking well is seen Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, on Bill Wight’s land in Crane County.
Bill Wight walks on the portion of land that was ravaged by rupturing salt water Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Crane County. Crews contracted by the Railroad Commission of Texas took over a month to plug the well causing the leak.

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