News & Events

Hydrostatic discharge update

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT) responded today to the Big Bend Conservation Alliance’s Texas Public Information Act, Open Records request (TPIA/OR), the third such request related to evidence of Trans-Pecos Pipeline’s applications, and any associated permits for discharge of hydrostatic testing water. In 2015, the BBCA’s research team estimated that as much as 54,000,000…

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Who Enforces Pipeline Safety Procedures in Texas? No one.

Pipeline systems like the Trans-Pecos Pipeline fall under a number of regulatory requirements at the state, and federal level. The primary federal agency, a sub-agency of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) charged with regulating pipelines is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The primary state agency charged with pipeline operation and safety…

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Concern Over Lack of Testing on the Trans-Pecos Pipeline

As concerned citizens, we are troubled that the Trans-Pecos Pipeline system has not been thoroughly tested for leaks, or other failures, before burial in the ground. Energy Transfer Partners repeatedly promised at public meetings, and in writing, that 100% of the system welds would be inspected, and that the system would be thoroughly pressure tested…

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Texas Flares Enough Gas Every Month to Supply 5.6 Million U.S. Homes

The State of Texas, via the regulating authority, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT), makes it difficult, deliberately, to determine how much natural gas is being flared. Technically, flaring of natural gas is allowed on a well intermittently, during drilling, and for only 10-days after a well is completed, for flow testing. Unfortunately, a variety…

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Impacts to Balmorhea Related to the Development of the “Alpine High”

This overview summarizes impacts to the community of Balmorhea, related to Apache Corporation’s development of a recently announced oil & gas find, the so-called “Alpine High” field. Apache Corporation is currently drilling exploratory and test wells in the Balmorhea area, its drilling contractor, Pioneer Energy Services is operating five rigs on behalf of Apache Corporation.…

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Conflicts of Interest in the University of Texas System

With the help of our friends at Sierra Club and Environmental Texas, we would like to draw attention to the increasing conflicts of interest within the University of Texas system, and encourage everyone to sign the petition asking Chancellor McRaven to cut methane release on University of Texas properties: Click here to read and sign…

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Beyond the Trans-Pecos Pipeline –Looming Issues Threaten The Big Bend Region

  As of mid-September, 2016, many Big Bend area residents are aware of the on-the-ground construction activities associated with the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, a project of Energy Transfer Partners, Mas-Tech, Inc., and Carso Energy. Construction is now active from the northern origin of the pipeline system near Coyanosa, Texas, to the southern United States terminus of…

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Threats Related to Industrialization of the Big Bend Region – A Focus on The Southern Delaware Basin Energy Development Activity

This article examines the potential impacts of oil and gas activity in the Delaware Basin, a sub-region of the greater Permian Basin region in far west Texas. Recent announcements from Apache Corporation, notably, the so-called “Alpine High” find in the southern Delaware Basin demonstrate the continued southerly movement of oil and gas exploration, and production…

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Ruidosa Church Restoration Project

The Big Bend Conservation Alliance is excited to partner with the Presidio County Historical Commission and the Center for Big Bend Studies (CBBS) at Sul Ross State University, among others, to revive the Ruidosa Church restoration project. Boasting perhaps the largest traditional adobe arches in Texas, El Corazon Sagrado de la Iglesia de Jesus, Ruidosa…

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What Led to the Destruction of Trap Springs (including eminent domain abuse)

What many of us “know” colloquially as the Antiquities Act (of 1906), formally 16 USC Ch. 1 Sc. LXI, Sec. 431, “National and International Monuments and Memorials” does not protect sites like the Trap Springs cultural and archeological site. Here is the original text of the act, sections 1, and 2: “Be it enacted by…

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