CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management will allow an extra 45 days of public comment on the expansion of a large drilling project in Wyoming's Red Desert.

The Associated Press reports the public will have until March 6 to comment on a draft environmental impact statement about the Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Drilling project. The BLM also will hold an open house in Rawlins on Jan. 15.

The proposal includes more than 20 companies and, if approved, the expansion could add about 9,000 wells on just over 6,100 well pads in a 1.1 million-square-mile area stretching from 25 miles west of Rawlins to 50 miles east of Rock Springs.

BLM project manager Mark Ames says the revised comment period was necessitated by the project's scope and the timing of the impact statement's release.

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