BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Bureau of Land Management satellite office in Miles City that otherwise was slated to close next year will remain open under legislation approved by the U.S. Senate.

Montana Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh said the bipartisan measure that passed Sept. 17 allows the continuation of a pilot program to speed up oil and gas permitting on federal lands.

It was sponsored by Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and co-sponsored by Walsh, Tester and 11 other lawmakers.

Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks said the measure now goes to the House of Representatives.

The BLM opened the Miles City office in 2005.

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