2009-04-16 / Local & State

Pa. Forest Drilling Procedure Suit Settled

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Environmental groups and the U.S. Forest Service have settled a federal lawsuit over several oil and gas drilling projects in the Allegheny National Forest.

Under Wednesday's settlement, the Forest Service agrees to conduct environmental reviews that the environmentalists say are required.

The plaintiffs, including Allegheny Defense Project and the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, claimed the reviews weren't being done.

The Forest Service will pay about $19,200 in attorney fees. It admits no wrongdoing.

Gas and oil drilling has increased dramatically in the forest. Environmentalists say drilling and numerous roads built in support of the projects can destroy wildlife habitat and hurt recreation opportunities.

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