NEWS
10:31 am
Tue June 10, 2014

BLM Ends Input Over Controversial Leases

The White River National Forest
The White River National Forest
Credit Recreation.gov

The Bureau of Land Management has wrapped up its comment period about the leases under question in the White River National Forest.

The BLM is currently running an Environmental Impact Study on some existing oil and gas leases, leases they’ve already given out.

"The BLM is looking at 65 existing leases on the White River National Forest," said David Boyd, a BLM spokesman.  "BLM either needs to adopt the Forest Service analysis, or do our own.  Back in '93, we did not do either of those, so we're we're doing this Environmental Impact Study now to address that." 

Part of the process of an Environmental Impact Study, or EIS, is taking comments from the public and interested parties about what course of action the BLM should take.  Boyd said the BLM received 34,000 comments, most of them emails. 

"Yeah, a lot of interest in this issue, particularly in the Roaring Fork and  Colorado River valley," said Boyd.

The BLM will go through every comment, creating summaries of the different and new information brought forward.

"It's pretty daunting," said Boyd, " that's one  reason it takes a long time to complete an EIS." 

The comments range from groups looking to shut down the leases and installed wells, to energy corporations like Oxy Petroleum, who say that the BLM doesn’t have the authority to revoke the leases even if they wanted to.  But then again, the BLM may not want to.  The agency has the option of revoking the leases, or just adding some extra restrictions, or not doing anything at all.  Just letting things stand.

The BLM plans to present their summaries in the summer of 2015.

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