November 9, 2012
Contact: Tom Blount
The National Park Service announces the availability of a summary document for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River Final Non-Federal Oil and Gas Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Plan).
The purpose of the Plan was to analyze alternative approaches, clearly define a strategy, and provide guidance to ensure that oil and gas activities are conducted in a manner that protects resources and values, visitor use and experience, and human health and safety. On September 5, 2012, the Southeast Regional Director approved the Record of Decision for the Plan which identifies Alternative C as the selected action. This alternative includes proactive enforcement of the National Park Service regulations pertaining to non-federal oil and gas operations (9B Regulations) and existing plans of operations, clear communication with the public and operators about current legal and policy requirements, increased inspections and monitoring, a "New Management Framework" for efficiently completing compliance processes for plugging and reclamation, and the establishment of "Special Management Areas" to provide protection to park resources and values that are particularly susceptible to adverse impacts from oil and gas development.
The National Park Service has developed a short summary document of the selected action outlining the details of the Plan and specific requirements for oil and gas operators at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River.
The Record of Decision and the summary document are available electronically at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/biso_obri_ogmp_rod, or printed copies may be requested by mail or phone by contacting:
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and Obed Wild & Scenic River
4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, Tennessee 37841
For additional information, contact Tom Blount, Chief of Resource Management at (423) 569-2404, ext. 252.