FWS to prepare EIS for producers’ three-state habitat conservation plan

The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced that it intends to prepare a draft environmental impact statement for proposed issuance of an incidental take permit (ITP) for the draft Oil & Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan that nine producers are developing for parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Forming the coalition are Antero Resources Corp., Ascent Resources LLC, Chesapeake Energy Corp., EnLink Midstream LP, EQT Corp., MarkWest Energy Partners LP, Marathon Petroleum Corp. and its MPLX LP affiliate, Rice Energy Inc., Southwestern Energy Co., and Williams Cos.

Coalition members are seeking ITP coverage because their exploration, production, and maintenance activities potentially could incidentally take species that are protected under the 1973 Environment Protection Act in the three-state area over a proposed 50-year term, FWS said in a Nov. 25 Federal Register Notice.

Specifically, the coalition intends to request coverage for five bat species: the endangered Indiana bat, the threatened northern long-eared bat, the little brown bat, the eastern small-footed bat, and the tri-colored bat, FWS said.

Comments will be accepted through Dec. 27. FWS said that it also will hold five public scoping meetings in Houston, Pa., on Dec. 12; Cambridge, Ohio, on Dec. 13; Charleston, W.Va., on Dec. 14; Clarksburg, W.Va., on Dec. 15; and Williamsport, Pa., on Dec. 16.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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