CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – More New Mexico land is under consideration for oil and gas development. But before 19 parcels of land are offered up to developers, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking relevant public comment.

The land parcels are located in Eddy, Lea, and Chaves County. In total, they add up to 3,279.49 acres, according to the BLM. A Map of the exact locations can be found here.

BLM is looking for public comment on the recently completed environmental assessment related to the sites. Following that assessment (full document here), BLM announced that they found that putting the parcels of land up for lease “does not constitute a major federal action that would have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment.”

But per policy, the Bureau will accept public comments for the next 30 days. The public comment period ends on February 6, 2023. Comments can only be submitted online at this link.

The BLM notes that the “most valuable” comments are those that are relevant to the environmental assessment. In particular, they note that comments containing only opinions will not be addressed; rather, they suggest that comments speak directly to the methods and process of the environmental assessment and offer suggestions of alternatives.

Assuming the parcels do make it through the environmental assessment public comment period, they will be put up for bid at $10 per acre as resource leases. The recent Inflation Reduction Act will also raise royalty rates collected from the leases from the minimum 12.5% to 16.67%, according to BLM.