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Citing lack of water quality analysis, judge blocks USBLM O&G leases in large swath of Montana

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday halted nearly 300 oil and gas leases on a large section of federal land in Montana that had been approved by an agency of the Interior Department and ordered the agency to conduct a thorough environmental analysis of the impact of fracking on drinking water.

District Court Judge Brian Morris said in his ruling that the Bureau of Land Management did not factor in the environmental risks to Montana’s water supply before it made a blanket approval for oil and gas leasing on nearly 150,000 acres of federal land.

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