Environmental groups today called on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to halt all new fossil fuel leasing in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest over concerns about the harmful impact of fracking.
The Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Ohio Environmental Council and Friends of the Earth are also challenging BLM’s plans to lease up to 40,000 acres of the Athens Ranger District, Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest, which would open it up to new oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Marcellus and Utica shales. In its environmental assessment, BLM proposed a “finding of no significant impact,” failing to take into account the impacts fracking would have on air quality, water quality, wildlife, and climate change. The Wayne National Forest is home to rare and endangered species including bobcats, Indiana bats, timber rattlesnakes and cerulean warblers.
“It’s unconscionable that we could ever permit drilling in Ohio’s only national forest,” said Jen Miller, Director of Sierra Club Ohio. “This forest is owned by the people for their enjoyment--not for the oil and gas industry to destroy. Permitting fracking will disrupt wildlife, threaten clean water resources, and reduce recreation and tourism. It should and must be preserved for this generation and those to come.”Read the whole release by clicking here.
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