Alex Levine: Public Information

Another issue besides the way the leasing of state lands occurs is the right of the state’s citizens to know when public lands are going to be leased for drilling and the enforcement policies of the regulations on these lands. In Pennsylvania, the Right-to-Know Law gives third parties the right to request records regarding gas activity on state forest lands by directly asking the private operator, following the DCNR Procedure for Informal Requests of Records or formally pursuing the Right-To-Know Law by forcing the DCNR to comply with its policy of responding to Right-To-Know Law requests (Brown, 2013). In the Michigan leasing process, the DNR accepts public comment throughout the leasing process. A public notice regarding the proposed leasing is placed in newspapers in the lease areas, giving the public 30 days to review and comment on the nomination. The department also sends information to the counties and townships where the proposed parcels of leased lands are located (MDNR FAQ, 2013).