ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmental groups and two Navajo officials are calling on U.S. land managers to hold public hearings and conduct a more thorough review of several permits to drill in northwestern New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.
The groups outlined their concerns in a letter sent late Wednesday to Tim Spisak, who oversees U.S. Bureau of Land Management operations in New Mexico. They are worried about the effects of increased development on culturally significant sites, namely those beyond the boundaries of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
“There is substantial environmental controversy around the agency’s proposal,” the groups wrote.
A federal appeals court in May found that land managers should have done more to consider the cumulative effects on water resources before approving a handful of oil and gas drilling permits in the region.