RENO — Two conservation groups are seeking a review of the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of an oil well project south of Lund, saying it should cover potential impacts on climate change.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project say the BLM failed to conduct a thorough environmental analysis. The permit was approved at the end of May following an Environmental Assessment.
“The BLM is recklessly pushing Trump’s drill-everywhere agenda, sending us on a one-way path to climate catastrophe,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the CBD. “The agency is flouting environmental protection laws to do the bidding of the oil industry.”
The groups want the BLM to analyze damage to the climate from burning fossil fuels and to examine how oil drilling could harm local wildlife.
According to the BLM’s assessment, emissions would be limited to equipment used in drilling.
“Particulate emissions are considered to be finite and temporary in nature,” states the document.
The study also says that the loss of approximately 6.2 acres of wildlife habitat “would result in a minimal impact to local wildlife populations as the habitat disturbed by project activities would ultimately be reclaimed and would eventually support wildlife in the same manner it does today.”
No surface water exists within 3 miles of the proposed well location, according to the study.
The potential for groundwater contamination “will be reduced through spill prevention plans, general housekeeping, and collection of drilling fluids,” stated the BLM’s review. “The proposed oil well would be cased and cemented from the surface to near the bottom of the hole, several thousand feet below potable water aquifers.”
The Environmental Assessment does not include analysis of indirect or cumulative impacts on the climate.
“We must end all new drilling on public land immediately in order to meet global emissions reduction goals, save our climate for future generations and protect wildlife,” said Kelly Fuller, energy and mining campaign director at Western Watersheds Project.
This article originally contained incorrect information about the number of wells permitted by the BLM over the past two years.