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Under threat of suit, USBLM agrees to do impact studies before O&G leasing near Petrified Forest NP

PHOENIX — Facing a lawsuit, federal officials have agreed to conduct environmental studies before deciding whether to lease more than 4,000 acres of land near the Petrified Forest National Park for oil and gas exploration.

The decision by the Bureau of Land Management ends, at least for the time being, the possibility of fracking operations that Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity said could have threatened a significant aquifer as well as endangered species and public health in general.

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