Revised BLM Fracking Rule Fails to Meet Standards Needed to Protect National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 16, 2013
Contact:  
Nicholas Lund, Manager, Oil and Gas Program, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3335, nlund@npca.org
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-419-3717, jbillington@npca.org


Revised BLM Fracking Rule Fails to Meet Standards Needed to Protect National Parks

Statement by Nicholas Lund, Manager, Oil and Gas Program, National Parks Conservation Association
   
“Despite the impacts of fracking near national parks, the revised draft rule for regulating the use of fracking on public lands that was released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today simply does not do enough to ensure that National Parks are protected from the impacts of oil and gas development.  If not undertaken carefully, the rapid increase in the extraction of oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing could seriously harm our nation’s most treasured places, and this rule from the BLM does not do enough to ensure protection for our national parks.

“The release of this rule comes just one month after NPCA released a comprehensive report on the existing and potential impacts of fracking on our national parks.  National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing: Balancing Energy Needs, Nature and America’s National Heritage noted that several national parks — from Grand Teton NP and Theodore Roosevelt NP in the west to Delaware Water Gap NRA and Big South Fork NRRA in the east — are either already experiencing or in high risk of severe negative impacts due to fracking and provided recommendations for how these special places could be protected.

“The report noted fracking close to national parks in the west is already affecting air quality, water quality and quantity, habitat connectivity, and scenic views and soundscapes.  These impacts can be mitigated, however, if the BLM would take simple steps to ensure that the impacts on national parks are considered.  For example, BLM should designate the National Park Service as a formal ‘cooperating agency’ under the National Environmental Protection Act when there is a reasonable likelihood that national park air, water, wildlife or other resources will be affected by oil and gas activities on BLM land."


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