Federal officials approve drilling on 26,000 acres near Grand Junction

FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 file photo shows capped wells in the foreground as Anadarko Petroleum Corp., drills a series of wells on a pad on a Weld County farm near Mead, Colo. in the northeastern part of the state. The drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shaking up world energy markets from Washington to Moscow to Beijing. Some predict what was once unthinkable: that the U.S. won't need to import natural gas in the near future, and that Russia could be the big loser. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

GRAND JUNCTION — Federal officials have approved plans for a company to drill for oil on the Whitewater Basin in western Colorado.

The Daily Sentinel reports the Bureau of Land Management approved Fram Operating LLC’s Whitewater development plan, which calls for drilling more than 100 wells on 26,000 acres near Grand Junction.

The bureau’s action on the plan has been delayed since 2013 when opponents raised concerns about the project, saying the plan did not adequately take into account the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water and air.

Officials with the advocacy group Western Colorado Congress say they’re considering actions to appeal the decision.

Company officials didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.

The next phase of the projects begins when the company submits applications to the bureau for drilling permits.

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