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BLM Expands Practices to Protect Wildlife

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Friday announced an expansion of best management practices (BMP) for the fluids minerals industry to protect wildlife near oil, natural gas and geothermal facilities on federal land.

Fluid mineral facilities include natural gas, oil, geothermal facilities and associated structures authorized by the BLM through applications for permits to drill, geothermal drilling permits, sundry notices or fluid mineral associated rights-

Best practices established in the policy focus on five industry situations: open pits and tanks containing freestanding liquids; chemical tank secondary containment; pit, tank and trench entrapment hazards; open exhaust stacks; and wire exclosure fencing.

"All BLM field offices will ensure new fluid mineral permit approvals contain appropriate BMPs necessary for complying with existing federal energy, wildlife and environmental laws and regulations," the agency said.

The new policy requires state-of-the-art environmental mitigation measures to be part of all approved permits. Through its Onshore Oil and Gas Order No. 1, the BLM also "encourages the industry to proactively include these best practices in their permit applications prior to a review" by the agency.

The BMPs identified in the new policy take into consideration "unique wildlife needs and the potential hazards of extractive industry operations."

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