June 15, 2007
Contact: Cindy Wertz
Two Wyoming BLM Employees Receive EPA Award
Two Wyoming BLM employees received the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Silver Medal Award on June 13.
Wyoming BLM Associate State Director Don Simpson and Air Quality Specialist Susan Caplan were presented the award in Washington. They were recognized, along with several EPA employees, for their work on the Jonah Natural Gas Environmental Impact Statement Review Team. This group set a new standard for how to deal with gas fields near Class 1 air quality view sheds and put into place what EPA feels is the most effective air quality mitigation plan seen in the country.
The nomination, submitted to EPA by Max Dodson, Associate Regional Director, stated: "The Jonah Infill Development Project is located in southwestern Wyoming. Because of the productive nature of the field, operators requested approval to drill 3,100 new wells. Before approving the wells, BLM prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EPA Region 8 Review Team was formed to work with BLM during this process. The environmental results achieved by this team were far beyond what are typically expected within the NEPA process and has set a standard for natural gas development which serves as a national model as to what can be accomplished."
"Through cooperative conservation, the BLM aims to coordinate activities with government, industry and other partners to maintain healthy land and communities. This team in Wyoming demonstrated what can be accomplished when the land management and regulatory agenices work together," said BLM Acting Director Jim Hughes.