The U.S. is in the middle of an oil and gas boom, especially as the Trump administration continues to cut regulations. As the industry grows, so does the waste it produces every day. That includes nearly a trillion gallons a year of a salty liquid called brine; tons of dirt and shattered rock that are drilled to make the wells; and pipes, hoses, and pumps that are all coated with oily sludge.
A lot of this waste is radioactive. Some of it is so toxic that it could be making workers sick and contaminating communities across the country.
Investigative reporter Justin Nobel interviewed hundreds of people for a story about this for Rolling Stone. It’s called “America’s Radioactive Secret.”