Craig It's not what was petitioned for, but it's a compromise.
The Bureau of Land Management approved a 30-day extension to the public comment period for its Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for oil shale development March 20.
That day marked the original date the comment period was scheduled to end.
The comment period now will go until April 21.
A combination of environmental, government and resident groups petitioned the BLM to extend the comment period 45 days.
"We've received requests from several groups to add more time," said Heather Feeney, a BLM spokesperson from the Washington, D.C., office, "and even though we're under an extremely tight schedule to get this finalized, we hope we can offer the maximum amount of opportunities to people who wish to review the plan and provide their input."
The U.S. Congress required the BLM create the Impact Statement in the Energy Act of 2005, and set a completion date for February 2007.
Now, more than a year later, the BLM is trying to balance its requirements set by Congress with its mandate from the Department of Interior to allow as much public input as possible, Feeney said.