Offshore Oil Rig
Oil and Gas Development

In an effort to expand domestic oil and gas production safely and responsibly, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency on June 23, 2011 signed an interagency approach to address air quality issues associated with onshore oil and gas development on public lands. A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishes a common process for the agencies to follow for analyzing the potential air quality & Air Quality Related Values (AQRVs) impacts of proposed oil and gas activities on federally managed public lands. The MOU's collaborative approach is designed to increase efficiency all the while benefitting industry, federal agencies, states, and tribes.

An implementation plan has been developed and its processes and provides training materials on how to apply it to various planning and leasing scenarios. FWS will follow the implementation plan when preparing National Environmental Poly Act (NEPA) documents. In addition, FWS may be asked to participate in technical work groups when proposed oil and gas activities occur on nearby federal public lands managed by other federal agencies. FWS may provide comment on how projects impact the air quality or (AQRVs) on service lands. The links to more information about the MOU are shown below.

The Fish and Wildlife Branch of Air Quality is responsible for protecting air quality on refuge and wilderness lands, including the 21 Class I wildlife refuges and wilderness areas. For more information and assistance in implementing the MOU, contact Catherine Collins (303-914-3807)


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