Page 17 - Texas811 Magazine 2022 Issue 3
P. 17

Why would we be so concerned about training for an oil spill in the desert? Water is life and river water supplied from the Rio Grande makes up nearly half of El Paso’s potable water supply with the remainder supplemented by groundwater from the Mesilla-Hueco aquifer. Protection of these water sources from contamination is critical for drinking water in the region so we take it very seriously. Other local water bodies in need of protection are Feather Lake, Rio Bosque, irrigation canals, El Paso’s city drainage system, and Ascarate Lake, the site of the oil spill response training and drill. Ascarate Lake was the perfect location for waterway boom training since
we were already familiar with this site having hosted the 2018 and 2019 Paso del Norte Excavation Safety Days with Texas811 and the Damage Prevention Council of Texas.
Led by D&H United Fueling Solutions, a local emergency response contractor, the training and drill brought the pipeline industry and emergency response agencies and contractors together to provide valuable information
and techniques necessary for safe and effective oil
spill response operations on waterways. Attended by over 100, participants began with technical classroom presentations which included aerial surveillance, boom & skimmer design, pipeline protection, incident site communications, containing and recovering oil on surface water, contingency planning, and reporting and documenting oil spills. The session went outdoors to Ascarate Lake where participants observed hands-on exercises in simulated response operations complete with watercraft boom and skimming operations. All who participated enjoyed a full day of learning, good food, winning door prizes, and discussing new ideas for spill response and remediation.
We would like to thank event sponsors Buckeye Pipeline, Kinder Morgan Pipeline, Marathon Pipeline, Magellan Pipeline, Holly Energy, Quatex, Las Jarones restaurant, Rain for Rent, and the El Paso Fire Department Water Rescue and Hazmat Teams for making our first annual event a huge success. We are already planning our second annual event and invite anyone who is interested to join us in “The Sun City” of El Paso, Texas sometime in 2023. For additional information, contact me at steran@dh-
2022, Issue 3
Texas811 • 15

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