Judge allows wildlife groups to challenge Wyo. drilling project

Posted: Jan 21, 2013

Written by

ADAM VOGE, Casper Star-Tribune
Atlantic Rim drilling

A federal administrative judge last week ruled that conservation groups may challenge a Wyoming natural gas drilling project.

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation paired to challenge the federal Bureau of Land Management's 2011 decision to approve the Catalina Plans of Development G and I, a 48-well coal-bed methane project proposed by Double Eagle Petroleum. The project is planned inside the Atlantic Rim natural gas project area southwest of Rawlins.

The federal agency approved the plans in June 2011, and the two wildlife groups later appealed, saying the agency didn't properly follow the process for review and approval.

The BLM asked that the appeals be dismissed, but an Interior Board of Land Appeals administrative judge this week ruled the groups can challenge the project based on recreational interest in the land.

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