Railroad Commission, MPGCD test water at Lake Boehmer

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 8:50 PM CDT
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PECOS COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) - After decades of unchecked growth, the Railroad Commission of Texas and Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District came together Tuesday to test Lake Boehmer for dangerous chemicals. The tests will hopefully provide answers to the dangers the lake poses.

It started with a report from the MPGCD showing dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide and elevated levels of radium and arsenic.

The RRC was immediately skeptical of the findings.

“Are there things dead? Because this is serious stuff you just showed up with, and with us having no information,” Commissioner Christi Craddick said to an MPGCD lawyer during an April 12 RRC Open Meeting.

On Tuesday, both agencies worked together.

The RRC and MPGCD arrived at the lake around 9:00 a.m. with supplemental oxygen, a skiff, and testing equipment.

A representative for the MPGCD told CBS7 that when crews approached the wellhead, their low and high-level H2S alarms went off, forcing them to put on protective equipment.

The toxic lake has been spewing brine water for decades, and both agencies believe the other is responsible for cleaning the land and plugging the well.

“When you assume that we have a lot of money to go out and resolve your problem because your landowner or your groundwater district hasn’t done so, I think that’s a big assumption on your client’s part,” Craddick told the MPGCD lawyer. “It really kind of offends me just a little bit.”

The recent MPGCD report says the lake is spewing close to one million gallons of brine water per day.

Results from the tests aren’t expected for several weeks.

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