Groups call for halt to drilling in northwest New Mexico

Chaco canyon

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Environmental groups have renewed their call for the end of hydraulic fracturing in northwestern New Mexico as part of an ongoing battle over oil and natural gas development and protection of archaeological sites.

The groups delivered a letter to the Bureau of Land Management in Farmington on Monday. They contend more development could harm the region that includes Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The letter follows a court filing last month that seeks to stop the BLM from approving permits to drilling in the Mancos Shale formation.

The groups say the Farmington office has approved 265 permits since 2013 and more than 90 wells have already been drilled and flared.

The BLM declined to comment directly on the pending litigation but said it carefully reviews all permitted wells to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

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