Many oil well operators simply burn off, or flare, excess gas. Some even vent it directly to the atmosphere. In addition to being an unnecessary waste, this air pollution contains hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds can lead to respiratory disease and cancer.
For more information on the waste of gas through flaring, venting, and leaking, see the report, The Flaring Boom.
Below are stories about people impacted by air pollution from oil and gas development.