Image courtesy of the Mid-American Geospatial Center/ University of Texas at Austin.

Photographs of floor-related oil spills in Texas are once again available online after being taken down earlier this year.

According to the El Paso Times, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is once again allowing the public to view aerial photographs of flooding at a website hosted by the University of Texas at Austin.

The images were taken by Civil Air Patrol sorties and are used to document damages and forecast where flood waters may travel to.

DPS Press Secretary Tom Vinger told the paper that, while he concerns about privacy are “valid,” the agency did not want to place an undue burden on the public.

The photos were removed in May after the El Paso Times published a story about the state’s response to flood-related spills.

The DPS cited concerns about privacy when it removed the images in May.

The photos can be viewed at a University of Texas at Austin website.

In an editorial, the El Paso Times praised the decision to restore access to the images but the paper said it still had concerns over how flood-related spills are handled.

“Still, serious questions remain about the performance of Texas environmental regulators, particularly the Texas Railroad Commission, in responding to clear evidence of environmental damage from fracking operations in flooded areas,” the El Paso Times said.


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