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Midge Erskine

Midland | Wildlife Advocate

Mrs. Erskine lives in Midland, where she operated a well-known and respected wildlife rehabilitation facility for over 25 years.Through that work, she became aware in the mid-1970s of the damage to migratory birds from open oil and gas waste pits in the Trans Pecos and elsewhere. From a decade’s investigation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, it has been estimated that 2 million birds are killed annually by oilfield wastewater, and the threat has been found in 16 states, and involving over 30 companies. While these losses are easily and cheaply avoided, with nets and frames across waste pits, by storing the waste in sealed tanks, or by using the waste to reinject and recover more petroleum, she found that there was great resistance by the regulated industry. Frustrated with the lack of openness and cooperation, Mrs. Erskine has gone on to track and publicize municipal government’s work in her hometown of Midland, to make sure that permits and payments in environmental and other programs are issued in a responsible, accountable way.

Interview Information

March 27, 2001
Midland, Texas
Reel 2133 and 2134

Excerpted Videos

Excerpt 1