The Bureau of Land Management has extended its deadline for public comments on an August 2012 quarterly oil and gas lease sale plan that has swamped the Delta County Commissioners with e-mails from around the world.
On Monday, commissioners said their e-mails have been piling up with communications from far beyond the county line.
Commissioners Bruce Hovde, Olen Lund and Doug Atchley said incoming e-mails on the topic have been originating from venues such as Michigan, Maine, Germany and Korea.
The BLM's comment period extension had been requested by the Delta County Commissioners and others. The planned lease sale includes 22 parcels located in Delta and Gunnison counties. The comment deadline is now Feb. 9.
Opposition to the proposed lease sale has come also from Delta County residents, particularly in the North Fork Valley where a number of the lease parcels are located.
Comments on the proposed BLM lease sale should not be addressed to the county. The county has no direct jurisdiction in the lease sale.
Instead, comments should be sent to the BLM's Uncompahgre Field office in Montrose. Type BLM UFO without quotes in your search engine and then navigate to the appropriate site to comment.
Comments must be submitted in writing. They can also be sent to the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office, Attn: Oil and Gas Lease Sale, 2465 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401; or by fax, (970) 240-5368.
According to an information advisory distributed by the BLM, "This public comment opportunity is the first step in determining whether or not oil and gas leases will be offered on public lands. An environmental assessment and a public lease notice will also provide the public an opportunity to provide input prior to any parcels being offered for sale."
Explaining the comment period extension the BLM said, "Comments from local cities and counties requested the deadline extension in order to provide specific details on whether parcels should or should not be leased."
Barb Sharrow, UFO field manager, was quoted saying, "Based on the amount of interest and the requests for additional information, this extension will provide additional time for the public's input to better inform the BLM's decision."
The BLM also stated, "The Uncompahgre Field Office is evaluating about 30,000 acres near Paonia, Hotchkiss, Somerset and Crawford to draft an Environmental Assessment prior to the lease sale.
"Please note comments and information submitted regarding this project, including e-mail addresses and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review and disclosure. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. If you wish to withhold your name, e-mail address, or street address from public view or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your written comment. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by the law."blog comments powered by Disqus