Source: Eco Watch
Following its final Environmental Assessment and a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decided to offer 40,000 acres of Wayne National Forest—Ohio’s only national forest—up for fracking. Fracking could extend to other areas in Ohio, even a national forest.
Wayne National Forest is located in southeast Ohio. ACFAN’s Ohio fracking map The BLM is now planning an online auction on Dec. 13 to lease the first 1,600 acres of the forest near Monroe, Noble and Washington counties to oil and gas development. The minimum acceptable bid can be as little as $2 per acre.
Local environmental groups and activists have unsurprisingly spoken out against the unconventional drilling of their state’s sole national forest. Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) has criticized the BLM for not considering the full extent of fracking’s negative impacts in its final Environmental Assessment posted earlier this month, including fracking’s threat to drinking water and its harm to public health and the climate.
“[US Forest Service decision maker and regional forester Kathleen Atkinson] clearly has ignored the facts that the Environmental Assessment is woefully inadequate,” Athens County resident and Bern Township Trustee Roxanne Groff told EcoWatch via email. ”
The Assessment does not cover cumulative effects of fracking in the Wayne. Up-to-date research must be used to address climate issues of fracking on public lands. This has NOT been done for the Wayne National Forest. Research that is 11 years old is the basis for her decision.” Read More…
photo credit: By Battenbrook (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]