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Environment | Law
BIA sued over energy project on Ute reservation


The Indigenous Environmental Network and the Sierra Club filed suit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs to block an energy project on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah.

The BIA approved an agreement between the Ute Tribe and Petroglyph Energy for 288 oil and gas wells on tribal and federal land on the reservation. The groups say the use of deep injection thermal extraction techniques, also known as tar sands development, will harm the environment.

"It is the BIA’s responsibility to protect the trust and assets of tribes. By allowing this proposal to move forward on the basis of an outdated and inadequate environmental assessment, the BIA is failing in its fiduciary responsibility to insure the environment and well being of the local Ute tribe is protected," IEN spokesperson Jihan Gearon said.

The Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the project back in 2004 but an executive for Petroglyph says there are currently no plans to move forward with the project described in the lawsuit.

Get the Story:
Suit to thwart injection project (The Vernal Express 1/28)