Balmorhea residents voice environment concerns to Apache

Balmorhea residents voice environment concerns to Apache

BALMORHEA, TX (KWES) - Residents in Balmorhea came out to the community center to voice their concerns to Apache Oil and Gas. Some say they got some ease of mind, others wish the event would have been more of an open forum.

"I was hoping they would have a town hall format, where we can all ask questions," said Bill Addington, a concerned resident.

Representatives from Apache filled the community center answering questions from the public but on a one on one basis. Apache insist this new journey for them will also benefit the community.

"We are going to have obviously job opportunities, job growth. We are going to make a significant investment here," said Casten Kennedy, Vice President of Public Affairs with Apache.

Apache conducted research in south Reeves County for two years. They say they have found a significant resource in Alpine High, spanning 320,000 acres. They call it "a new era" that will trickle down to the local economy, schools and services, but some are skeptical.

"Let's ask ourselves, 'Are we willing to trade some short term jobs and some short term profits of the permanent destruction of these waters?" said Addington.

Residents fear that hydraulic fracturing in the area could contaminate local waters. Apache says they have created drilling exclusion zones, which include the state park, the San Solomon Springs, and within the city limits.

"It's very early for us in this development. We want to take the concerns and questions of the community into account as we put together our plan for the long term," said Kennedy.

Apache does not expect residents to feel the economic impact until 2017.

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