FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Federal officials in charge of inspecting new oil wells being drilled on public land in California have struggled to keep pace with America's drilling boom.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management records say 31 of 99 high-priority wells drilled in California's oil-rich Central Valley were not inspected from fiscal year 2009 to 2012.
Nationally, BLM data provided to The Associated Press shows the agency oversees about 100,000 oil and gas wells on public lands, about 3,500 of which received the high-priority designation because they're pollution risks.
The numbers show about 40 percent of these high-priority wells hadn't been inspected.
Dana Wilson of the BLM's Sacramento office disputes the number of uninspected wells, saying that bookkeeping errors have misrepresented the problem in California.
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