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Ohio Utica Shale

Agriculture to exclude rural loans from environmental reviews

By Bob Downing Published: March 20, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to exclude rural housing loans from environmental reviews that could slow the expansion of oil and gas drilling.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today he will authorize a notice affirming that rural housing loans are categorically excluded from reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires some transactions to be examined for their affect on soil, air and water.

Vilsack said Agriculture will not change its policy, Bloomberg News reported.

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Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

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National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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Stop Fracking Ohio.

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Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

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Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.