Oil and Gas Development: Improved Collection and Use of Data Could Enhance BLM's Ability to Assess and Mitigate Environmental Impacts, Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 6MB]

"BLM [Bureau of Land Management] is responsible for managing oil and gas development on federal lands while mitigating related environmental impacts. BLM seeks to do so, in part, by applying requirements to the leases and drilling permits it issues to operators. These requirements may include environmental mitigation practices outlined in BLM's best management practices policy. In some cases, operators may request exceptions to lease and permit requirements. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine BLM's efforts to mitigate environmental impacts from oil and gas development. This report examines the extent to which BLM (1) approved requests for exceptions to lease and permit requirements and how these decisions were made and documented, (2) involved the public in the development of lease and permit requirements and in the approval of exception requests, and (3) implemented and assessed the effectiveness of its best management practices policy. GAO examined laws, regulations, and BLM policies and documents; surveyed and visited BLM field offices; and conducted interviews with BLM officials and other stakeholders. GAO is making six recommendations, including that BLM develop a policy for tracking and documenting exceptions. Interior generally concurred with GAO's recommendations."

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Public Domain
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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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