Apache Corporation was awarded the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission’s (IOGCC) 2019 Chairman’s Stewardship Award in the Large Company category for its partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) in support of Balmorhea State Park. Each year, IOGCC, a multi-state government entity, recognizes an innovative project by a large oil and natural gas company that demonstrates positive environmental stewardship. The Railroad Commission of Texas – the state’s IOGCC representative – nominated Apache for the award, which was presented on Aug. 29 at the IOGCC annual meeting in North Dakota.

Balmorhea State Park is home to the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool with millions of gallons of water flowing through the pool daily from the San Solomon Springs, a collection of nearby artesian and gravity springs. Apache partnered with TPWF to raise $2 million dollars to support the repair and restoration of the iconic pool following its closure in early 2018 after years of erosion from the flow of water from the springs caused the structural collapse of a pool wall.

Apache began the effort with a $1 million challenge grant that was matched by another $1 million dollars in support from Texas businesses, foundations, and members of the local community. In total, over 575 donations were received from all corners of the state, with 60 percent of the donations under $100. Apache also donated an additional $1 million to create an endowment in partnership with the TPWF for future park projects designed to enhance visitor experience beyond the scope of the park’s existing budget.

“The IOGCC made a great selection in awarding the Chairman’s Stewardship Award to Apache for the company’s environmental efforts in West Texas,” said Wei Wang, executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission. “Protection of public safety and the environment is our top priority at the Railroad Commission, so when we see companies like Apache make the significant investment to protect such a beloved Texas treasure at Balmorhea State Park, we believe it’s worthy of recognition.”
Located near Toyahvale and Balmorhea, Texas, Balmorhea State Park is home to the San Solomon Springs, which provide an important habitat for several endangered species, including two species of freshwater snails, a species of freshwater shrimp, and two species of fish unique to West Texas.

“This project would not have been possible without the hard work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the tremendous support from the community and the many partners who stepped up to raise these funds,” said Castlen Kennedy, Apache’s vice president of Communications and Public Affairs. “Balmorhea State Park and its pool are unique natural resources that are enjoyed by Texans and visitors from near and far.”


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