pollution

Kristen Lewis keeps a brown cardboard box in her office at Boulder High School. It’s filled with vape pens like JUULs, the leading brand of e-cigarettes, dozens of the pods that carry nicotine liquid, and a lonely box of Marlboros.

“This is what I call the box of death,” she said. “This is everything that we’ve confiscated.”

Rafael Aguilera / Texas Tribune

In the wake of the collapse in oil prices over the past several years, Texas and Oklahoma have seen a different kind of boom. In these states, there’s been a surge in abandoned oil drilling sites.

To make matters worse, the areas that generally have abandoned rigs generally don’t have the funds to clean the sites. As The Texas Tribune reports, wildcatters have been punching holes in the hard West Texas caliche for almost a century.