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GREAT BEND, Kansas — The idea of drilling oil in Kansas’ largest wetlands preserve and bird refuge could be a controversial one.
Two companies have asked the government for permission to drill in the Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge in Barton County.
The refuge is home to more than 300 species of birds.
The US Corps of Engineers manages wetlands and was called in to determine the potential impact on water and the wetlands.
“This is the first time I’m aware recently, at least recently that I’m aware of an application coming in to drill these particular wetlands,” said Luke Cory, Regulatory Project Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers.
One company is L.D. Drilling of Great Bend. The other is H&C Oil Operating of Plainville.
The Corps of Engineers will decide whether to grant the permit based on a number of factors.
“We consider the economic benefit that might occur as a result of this activity as well as the environmental impacts that could possibly occur and we have to consider all these factors,” said Cory.
The Corps of Engineers wants public feedback.
If you’d like to have a say, visit: