A new book is set to be published, chronicling one of the worst toxic waste episodes East Texas has ever seen. For 12 years Longview photographer Tammy Comer-Campbell has followed the plight of Winona residents, affected by the Gibraltar toxic waste injection well facility.
"I had never experienced reality as much as I did. This was a huge departure from what I was used to. It really has changed my life it made me acutely more environmentally aware," she said.
In her book, "Fruit of the Orchard", Comer-Campbell chronicles how for more than a decade residents around Winona suffered medical problems believed to be caused by Gibraltar, a waste disposal company that dumped untold amounts of toxic chemicals into water well tanks more than a mile underground, under the guise of a fruit orchard.
She came to know many of the children effected. Hundreds marched to protest the plant, which closed in 1997. Campbell fears the waste pumped into the ground during its 15 years may harm a new generation. She says her worst memory was attending the last moments of one resident's life.
"I knew he was about to die and he told me, he said, 'Keep at it be sure and tell our story and it's just hard'," said Comer-Campbell.
"Fruit of the Orchard" is scheduled to go on sale at book stores on September 30th.