A Utah field office for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun seeking public comment on its environmental assessment (EA) of a proposal to offer 12 parcels totaling more than 14,000 acres for oil/natural gas leases in May 2013.

There is no shale play and no ongoing exploration and production (E&P) activity in the area, BLM officials in Utah told NGI Thursday. The sale is one in a series of quarterly sales involving some of the 10 BLM offices in the state.

The review and public comment on the BLM Richfield Field Office’s EA will be open until Jan. 25. “The most useful comments are those that identify issues relevant to the proposed action or contain new technical or scientific information,” BLM said.

At issue are an oil/gas lease sale and subsequent issuing of leases to the successful bidders on 12 parcels totaling 14,660.26 acres in mid-May 2013, and the EA now being reviewed and evaluated is a site-specific analysis of potential impacts that could result from the implementation of E&P activities on those lands.

BLM officials said the parcels are about 80 miles north of Richfield in the center of Utah. BLM said there originally were 13 parcels nominated for possible leasing, but one parcel was deferred because of the presence of significant sage grouse habitat.

As part of the proposed lease sale, BLM said it is consulting with several involved federal and state agencies, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife; Utah Preservation Office and Public Lands Office, local Native American tribes, and local county commissioners, among others.

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