Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Potential ‘fracking’ causes drinking water concerns

Moab residents are worried about potential groundwater pollution if natural gas drilling that includes hydraulic fracturing is allowed in the scenic red rock country.

The Bureau of Land Management plans a Feb. 19 auction of energy leases on 80,000 acres in southeast Utah, including two parcels in direct view of Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

The BLM is conducting an environmental assessment of the proposed leases to determine the potential impact, said Don Ogaard, chief of the leasing support section for the agency's Utah office. BLM officials said the report should be available for public review by the end of September. A 30-day public comment period will follow.

Gas exploration that includes hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" involves injecting pressurized liquid into shale.

The 80,000 acres are on federal land spread across Grand and San Juan counties in Utah. Daily Herald