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Drilling comment period extended
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At the intersection of Hwy 4 and 20 Ave, an information kiosk for the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Preserve area belonging to The Nature Conservancy is also one of the stops along the Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway. The US EPA has requested the public comment period for an application to drill for oil inside the Preserve be extended an additional 10 days to July 13, and a spokesperson commented, "The proposed drilling has the potential to negatively impact this wetland. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

Luke Cory, Regulatory Team Leader with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers said Wednesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had requested the public comment period for an application to drill a vertical oil well on land included in the The Nature Conservancy’s Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Preserve near the designated Wildlife Area be extended from 21 to 30 days.  The new deadline is Saturday, July 13.

Typically, the Corps provides a 21-day comment period unless a governmental agency requests a full 30-day period, Cory said.

“EPA Region 7 requested an additional 10 days to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of drilling in the Cheyenne Bottoms.  This was partially due to the significance of a wetlands of international importance,” said EPA spokesperson Kris Lancaster. “This designation was provided to Cheyenne Bottoms after the RAMSAR conference in the early 1990s.  The proposed drilling has the potential to negatively impact this wetland.”  

Cory is currently filing all individual comments until the comment period ends, and then will review them in their entirety, he said.  He will also send submitted comments to the applicant, Charles Ramsay, president of H&C Oil of Plainville, for review.