Lawsuit filed to halt illegal drilling

A coalition including Guardians filed a lawsuit and a request for a restraining order on August 1 to defend Greater Chaco from fracking.

The suit targets the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of more than 250 oil and gas wells in northwestern New Mexico’s Farmington Field Office, many of them within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park and in close proximity to the area’s Navajo residents. BLM has not accounted for the environmental and health impacts of oil and gas extraction in the region. The suit calls on a federal court to halt further development of the wells.

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that the Bureau of Land Management illegally approved dozens of oil and gas wells in Greater Chaco, and that it failed to analyze the environmental and health impacts of developing wells in the Mancos Shale—development of which requires more water, releases more pollution, and poses greater environmental impacts than traditional oil and gas development. The ruling applied to wells approved between 2010-16; the August 1 suit aims to leverage this precedent and apply it to wells approved between 2016 and the present.

Read the press release.

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