BLM keeps comment period for pipeline renewal at 45 days

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Bureau of Land Management said the public comment period for renewal of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline permits will remain at 45 days.

A number of groups representing environmentalists and Alaska Natives had asked that the comment period be extended.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said Wednesday that an extension was not necessary because the government is reviewing renewal of a system that's been in place for 25 years, not a new project with major new impacts.

State and federal officials are reviewing whether to renew permits for the 800-mile line. The pipeline's owners are seeking a 30-year renewal.

More than 20 environmental, Native and community groups had sought the public comment extension, saying the 1,000-page environmental impact statement is too extensive to review adequately in 45 days.

The public comment period will end Aug. 20.

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