The Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service on Monday published a notice of intent in the Federal Register (Vol. 74, No. 118) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of its proposal to enact federal drilling rules within the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. More than 90% of the mineral rights under the national forest land are privately owned, and the Forest Service previously did not require an environmental analysis, as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act. Pennsylvania’s energy industry and some state officials are suing the Forest Service to prevent the rules from being enacted (see Daily GPI, June 11). The draft EIS is expected in January 2010, with the final EIS expected in April 2010. Comments are due by Aug. 21 and may be sent to The subject line should read “Transition EIS.”

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