LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - Switching gears to the fracking business thats brought a lot of employment opportunities to our area, but with that also comes risks.
That's why two environmental groups are stressing the importance of vigilance in communities where fracking continues to grow.
This may be a small room, but the topic of fracking affects everyone in South Texas, where oil wells have become part of our landscape.
The Rio Grande International Study Center, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, offered workshops that help the public understand what to look out for to ensure the community's safety.
Esperanza Sauceda attended the meeting thinking of the future.
"It affects us," said Sauceda. "It affects our children and our grandchildren. So, we need to leave something for our children as natural as possible."
The growth of the Eagle Ford Shale in Webb County and the surrounding areas comes as no surprise. Just drive up and down the highway and you'll see its rapid growth. But the RGISC and EDF are encouraging you to be more than just a spectator.
"In 2008, there were 26 oil and gas permits in the Eagle Ford Shale region, and by 2014, there were more than 4,000," said Palacios.
So what are the things you can look out for?
Alberto Sandoval with the RGISC led the presentation and says it comes down to pollution.
"Some examples could be, air contamination, spills - which have happened in Laredo -, water contamination," said Sandoval. "It's helping people understand who to report to."
Esperanza is taking that message to heart.
"If we don't take any action, we complain when things happen, but we don't do anything to stop it or prevent it," said Sauceda. "If we're not willing to take the time to stop it or prevent it, then we're going to have to live with the consequences."
It may take a little extra time to make a report, but that information can lead to the prevention Esperanza is talking about.
"The more incidents that people report, the more data that agencies have," said Palacios. "The agencies can use that information alongside industries and they can use that to prevent incidents in the future."