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State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby

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Offline RichardM

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State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
By David Hunn Updated 2:02 pm, Friday, June 2, 2017

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is so concerned about a plan to drill thousands of oil wells around Balmorhea State Park in West Texas that it has embarked on an unprecedented environmental study of the springs that feed the park's famous pool, provides drinking water for thousands of people and supports one of the most sensitive ecologies in Texas.

The study of the San Solomon Springs aims to monitor the effects of oil and gas drilling by Apache Corp. of Houston, which less than a year ago announced a major discovery, dubbed Alpine High, across 350,000 acres of desert surrounding the park. Parks biologists, hydrologists, geologists and administrators have mounted an in-depth, multi-year effort to monitor plants, fish, insects and water.

They plan to cordon off habitat, overturn rocks, get out nets and count samples from every important species that depend on the San Solomon and other local springs, hoping that the baseline data will hold Apache responsible if anything goes wrong. Brent Leisure, the state parks director, said he could not remember ever launching a similar effort in another of the state's 95 parks, historic sites or natural areas.

"We have a rare and endangered resource there at the San Solomon Springs," Leisure said. "There's no doubt about it. It's an oasis. We just want to make sure it's protected."

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Online mule ears

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 06:43:43 PM »
A perfect follow up to the con-man-in-chief's withdrawl from Paris.   :icon_rolleyes:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 07:17:52 PM by mule ears »
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no shade, no water
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 06:57:52 PM »
A perfect follow up to the con-man-in-chief's with drawl from Paris.   :icon_rolleyes:

ME, I suspect you have a drawl, but I've NEVER known Donald Trump to have one. That said, this particular hydrocarbon exploration worries me as much as it does TPWD, accent on the "P" and "W".
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Flash

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 07:43:25 PM »
Quote
They plan to cordon off habitat, overturn rocks, get out nets and count samples from every important species that depend on the San Solomon and other local springs, hoping that the baseline data will hold Apache responsible...

Kind of wondering what might be the environmental impact of seeking out such a baseline? :icon_eek:
That drilling project has been in the works for quite some time now, if I remember correctly, but hadn't heard much about it in a while.  I might have thought TPWD would have sought out a buffer zone around the Park from TRRC or TDEQ or the legislature for that matter. Wouldn't be surprised if Apache does their own baseline, with an eye on current agricultural/industrial runoff, etc. :eusa_think:

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Offline badknees

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 12:58:36 AM »
As long as Apache is not permitted to extract fresh groundwater from the aquifer the supports the springs, I don't see impact. I would hope the experts are focused on that. Otherwise they miss the real issue. Drilling and completing wells requires large quantities of water, but the actual well construction is regulated to protect fresh groundwater. The targeted hydrocarbon reservoirs are literally miles deeper than  any freshwater aquifers.
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Offline Txlj

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 03:53:28 AM »
Jobs

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 09:59:24 PM »
And wastewater disposal.


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Offline badknees

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 11:22:38 PM »
And wastewater disposal.


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Disposal wells are readily available in the Permian.
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Offline elhombre

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 10:13:56 AM »
Just got back from 2 days swimming at the pool.  It seems that there has been a "noticable" drop in quantity of fish in the pool over the last year.  So, what has changed?

Just this summer the state finally made a rule to limit the amount of people in the park one day.  Last year upwards of 2700 filthy unwashed people were hitting the pool each day on the weekends.  Think baby swim diapers.  Now the superintendent caps the number at 1000 per day.  I personally notice that the high dive area begins to smell like sewer in the afternoons when only 400 or so people visit the pool each day.  I think the incidence of diarrhea must be high on Mondays from pool water after those crazy weekends.  It is what you get from a "no chlorine" pool.  Use your imagination on how it effects the fish.

The park has a new super who replaced Carl from 2 years ago.  I had talked with Carl before and thought he had the right attitude for the job.  Seems he got burned out.  Couldn't get any support from the state was what I inferred.  The new lady seems up for the job.  The pool was cleaner both in the sitting area and the pool itself.  Maybe due to this new occupancy rule.  But I think it was because I actually saw some workers walking the grounds during the day. 

The usual kids were using plastic bags to try to catch fish, and a couple of workers stopped and corrected a bunch of them. It was interesting to see the entire pool get quiet when they were telling the kids it is against the law to catch the fish.  Of course a few precious snowflakes argued with the workers about catching fish as if they knew better (nice job parents).  But the entire mood of the pool changed, and it actually was quite enjoyable to have the kids act as if there were actually rules that need to be followed.  Then when I saw the stupid people with their two dogs get thrown out of the pool area, I knew there was a new sheriff in town.  Seems they didn't see the sign saying no pets.........

Just saying that the fish population has been changing  for sometime now, with no fracking to blame.  Water temp is the same, so that boogie man global warming can't be it.  A local told me he is fearful that with all the fracking taking place, he believes that the entire area will imploded, and a huge volcanic caldera will open up and swallowing everything....... :eusa_clap:

MOST IMPORTANTLY  -  The park is scheduled to close the hotel and campground starting this October for remodeling.  Plan your trips accordingly.
The older I get, the more I realize what freedom really means.  May God bless America

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Offline Buck

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 02:47:00 PM »
I've only swam there in February - had the whole pool to myself!
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline halljf

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Re: State begins testing Balmorhea springs as Apache drills nearby
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 06:43:27 PM »
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling"

Chicken Little


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