Toxic Concerns in Western Carter County

6-16-06 - A Wilson man says toxic waste runoff has made his son sick. When Mark Hammons' son Zach got sick three weeks ago he thought it was the flu, but when he didn't get well Hammons became concerned.

Zach fell into a oil field settling pond a day before he got sick. When Hammons dug a little deeper in the area he found what appeared to be saltwater runoff, common waste associated with oil fields.

He called the Corporation Commission. Although they didn't find any evidence this time around, back in January they did. But officials could never catch the suspects in the act.

They say the waste is so toxic; it kills all vegetation on site, and if it seeps into the water table it could contaminate drinking water. That's what scares Hammons.

Mark Hammons said, "There's a kid that's sick and I'm trying to figure out if there's something in this water that got him sick, and then I find out apparently those same people are dumping this stuff into the creek."

Doctors cannot say for sure if the waste made Zach sick. The Corporation Commission took samples yesterday. It will take six weeks to get those back.

Officials at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission say the area has been polluted for more than 100 years and it will take a massive effort to clean it up. They're working with the EPA to find a solution.