BLM expands best management practices for oil, gas activity

The US Bureau of Land Management announced expanded best management practices (BMP) for oil and gas producers operating on onshore federal lands. The additional BMP aim to increase wildlife protection during exploration and production of onshore federal leases, the US Department of the Interior agency said late last month. The policies also cover geothermal resources, it added.

It said industry leaders and the agency have actively cooperated in recent years to significantly decrease the number of wildlife deaths associated with fluid mineral operations. The new BMP build on this cooperation by establishing a consistent policy approach and set of practices, BLM said.

The BMP focus on open pits and tanks containing freestanding liquid; chemical tank secondary containment; pit, tank, and trench entrapment hazards; open exhaust stacks; and wire exclosure fencing.

BLM said specific mitigation strategies include using closed loop systems or nets for managing fluids, constructing wildlife escape ramps in open excavation operations, and installing screens on all open exhaust stacks to prevent bird and bat entry or nesting.

Also included are strategies that reduce threats to important bird species like the Greater-Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken. For these species, demonstrably effective mitigation measures will utilize fence markings around production facility exclosures to prevent wire collisions near mating areas, according to BLM.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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