Partnering with communities to protect against fracking-related pollution.

Optical gas imaging picture of pollution above regular still image.
[Top] Optical gas imaging reveals normally invisible air pollution from an unlit flare. [Bottom] A regular still image taken at the same time and place shows what you see with the naked eye.
Earthworks’ Community Empowerment Project (CEP) works with communities to protect their health and the climate by making visible normally invisible air pollution from oil and gas facilities. With video evidence in hand, we work side-by-side with impacted residents to pressure regulators and companies to reduce pollution.

Together we spotlight regulators’ responsibility to protect the public from the industry’s pollution — and hold them accountable when they don’t.

Find Pollution Near You & Take Action

Earthworks ITC-certified staff travel the United States and internationally exposing oil and gas air pollution using our optical gas imaging cameras. Zoom in on the map below to find camera icons indicating the worst of our 700+ videos of pollution from oil and gas sites.

Earthworks’ team of experts uses these videos to file official complaints with state and national regulators, and to help communities do the same. Once regulators respond to our complaints we add them to the map. Zoom in on the map below to find paper and pencil icons that track closed complaints and any related actions.

You are not alone. Over 12.6 million people in the United States live within half a mile of an oil and gas facility, a distance within which health impacts have been most clearly correlated by peer-reviewed science. Zoom in on the map below to find a person icon and hear some of their stories. To add your story, contact us at info [at] earthworks.org.

Get help. Fill out a form at the bottom of this page to bring Earthworks’ CEP to your community, get help filing an official complaint or to share a complaint you already filed with Earthworks.

The numbered dots reference the quantity of data points in that area. Zoom in or click a colored dot to see individual sites, complaints and interviews.

1226

site visits

188

complaints filed

310

operators filmed

19

states & countries

103

stories collected

Invisible Air Pollution

Oil and gas pollution can cause health problems for nearby communities ranging from asthma and nosebleeds to increased risk of cancer. It also releases large volumes of methane, a potent climate pollutant 86 times worse for climate than carbon dioxide.

Our state-of-the-art OGI cameras, operated by our ITC-certified thermographers, make visible 20 normally invisible volatile organic compounds, including the carcinogens benzene and toluene, and methane.

Thanks to generous Earthworks supporters, we have been documenting pollution with FLIR GasFinder 320 optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras since 2014. Our cameras are the same model used by industry and government agencies to detect leaks and chronic pollution, and our camera operators receive the same training.

How can CEP help you?

CEP Submit Complaint Form

  • If you have already submitted a complaint to a local, state or federal agency and would like to let Earthworks know about it please submit the details below.
  • Drop files here or