The federal government has taken its next step in a process that could result in oil and gas drilling on the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio, though any drilling on federal land in Athens County is unlikely for at least a few years.
In a news release issued earlier this week, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it’s now preparing an environmental assessment (EA) “to consider whether or not to lease parcels for the purpose of oil and gas exploration and development.”
Parcels under consideration, as a result of the BLM receiving “dozens of Expressions of Interest from industry operators,” total 18,800 acres on the Wayne National Forest in Washington and Monroe counties, the news release said.Click here to continue reading.
While the BLM and U.S. Forest Service previously said that 3,150 acres in Athens and Perry counties, and another 9,975 acres in Lawrence County, also were being considered for oil and gas leasing, the current EA is limited to the listed acreage in the national forest’s Marietta Unit, far to the northeast of Athens.
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