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Big South Fork Seeks Public Comments for Oil and Gas Well Plugging
Oneida, TN - The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking comments on a proposed project to plug and reclaim abandoned oil and natural gas (gas) wells at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (Big South Fork NRRA or the park unit). Oil and gas fields are located adjacent to and extend into the boundary of the park unit, which encompasses approximately 115,000 acres and more than 300 oil and gas sites in Tennessee and Kentucky.
The purpose of the proposed action is to plug and reclaim approximately 50 known abandoned wells located inside the park. This project is needed:
• Because there is no responsible non-federal party to plug and reclaim these wells;
• To ensure protection of natural and cultural resources from the effects of these past oil and gas operations in Big South Fork NRRA; and
• To minimize human health and safety risks
Action is also needed at this time because substantial funding has been made available through the 2009 enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to plug and reclaim the majority of these wells. All of the wells would be plugged to NPS and applicable state standards.
Also known as “Public Scoping,” NPS is inviting the public to provide input regarding this project. Issues, concerns, and ideas from the public, government agencies, and organizations, will assist NPS in preparation of the EA which will be available in January 2010. Public comments will be accepted until November 13, 2009. Comments may be submitted:
By mail to: Superintendent
Big South Fork NRRA
4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, TN 37841
Attn: Plug and Reclaim Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells
Online at: www.parkplanning.nps.gov/biso (click on project)
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be sure to include your full name and address with the comments so we may add you to our mailing list for information on the planning process.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.