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Gasco gas-drilling project in Utah faces lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Several environmental groups are filing suit over a Gasco Energy Inc. natural-gas project in eastern Utah.

Denver-based Gasco is seeking permits to drill the first of nearly 1,300 wells near the Green River's Desolation Canyon.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says the drilling will nibble away at a proposed Desolation Canyon wilderness area.

The wilderness group says 215 of the Gasco wells were approved within the proposed wilderness, as close as three miles from the high cliffs of Desolation Canyon.

SUWA, the Wilderness Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed the lawsuit Friday against the Bureau of Land Management and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gasco says it will drill responsibly. The company says it took eight years to win federal approval for the project.