SALT LAKE CITY
The act allows federal land managers to fast-track drilling permits without ordering an environmental assessment of the consequences.
The U.S. attorney's office in Salt Lake City confirmed Wednesday that the settlement will all but close the loophole used to approve thousands of oil and gas wells from 2006 to 2008.
The government lawyers settled the case on behalf of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. His office didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press Wednesday.