More Motions in the Atlantic Seismic IHA Litigation

The federal court judge in the South Carolina Atlantic IHA litigation set a summary judgment briefing schedule, which could have decided the case on the merits. The Federal Defendants, which include the National Marine Fisheries Service, provided voluminous additions to the record before the court in the case, and indicated that they would provide additional documents that the Government does not consider to be part of the administrative record sometime within three weeks of July 2, 2019.The Environmental Plaintiffs then filed motions asking the court to suspend all deadlines in the briefing schedule and order the Federal Defendants to provide information about their supplementing the record.

“Seismic Imaging Centre starts operating at BHU”

Editor’s Note: The International association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-titled article on IAGC’s website. The article reads as follows:

“Seismic Imaging Centre- a dedicated high computing centre with more than 1,000 speed computing cores for carrying out research, training and all the complex modelling work, related to earth science science was inaugurated in the department of Geophysics, Institute of Science of Banaras Hindu University.

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NMFS Reopens comment Period on Proposed Rules for Liberty Drilling and Production Island, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has reopened the public comment period on NMFS’ proposed rule under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to authorize the taking of marine mammals, by mortality, serious injury, Level A harassment, and Level B harassment, incidental to the construction and operation of the Liberty Drilling and Production Island, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

The comment period for the proposed rule that published on May 29, 2019 closed on June 28, 2019. NMFS is reopening the public comment period until July 31, 2019, to provide the public with additional time to submit information and to comment on this proposed rule.

“Global Seismic Survey Market to Reach a Valuation of US$ 9.23 Billion by 2022 By ZMR News”

Editor’s Note: The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above- titled article on one of IAGC’s websites.  The article reads as follows:

“Zion Market Research published a new 110+ pages industry research “Seismic Survey Market by Service (Data Acquisition, Data Processing and Interpretation), Technology (2D Imaging, 3D Imaging and 4D Imaging) and Region: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2016 – 2022” in its database. The Seismic Survey Market report intends to offer a resourceful means to assess the Seismic Survey Market and entails the all-inclusive analysis and upfront statistics with regards to the market.

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Comment on NMFS Proposed Take Authorization for LNG Project in Cook Inlet, Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Alaska LNG Project in Cook Inlet, over the course of five years (2020–2025). Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take, and requests comments on the proposed regulations. NMFS will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorization, and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of NMFS’ decision.

NMFS must receive comments and information no later than July 29, 2019.

Federal Government Files Supplemental Record in Atlantic IHA Case

Various parties have sued the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Marine Fisheries Service in the United Stated District Court for the District of South Carolina. The plaintiffs claim that NMFS violated several laws when it published Marine Mammal Protection Act Take Authorizations for oil and gas exploration off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The federal defendants in the case have filed the second supplemental administrative record with the court. The administrative record is supposed to be the evidentiary basis for the court’s decision in the case.

BOEM Repeats Its Request for ICR Comments

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has filed another request for comment on renewal of Information Correction Request for authority to seek information required under the regulations in 30 CFR part 550, part 556, and part 560, Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf. BOEM is seeking comments again because no comments were received in response to BOEM’s April 2019 request for comments.

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et


Several parties have sued NOAA/NMFS in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. These parties are challenging NOAA/NMFS’ issuance of Marine Mammal Protection Act Take authorizations for oil and gas seismic operations in parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

On June 19, 2019, the Court issued an order that establishes a summary judgment briefing schedule for all parties that extends into November 2019.

The court’s ruling on these summary judgment motions will probably dispose of this case on the district court level.  There will probably be appeals of whatever the district court rules.

NMFS Issues L-DEO IHA for Gulf of Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University to incidentally harass, by Level A and Level B harassment, marine mammals during seismic airgun activities associated with a marine geophysical survey in the Gulf of Alaska. This Authorization is issued under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and it is effective from June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020.  Click here for more details and relevant links.



“Company seeks SC approval for oil blast testing offshore”

Editor’s Note: The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-tltled article on one of IAGC’s websites.  This article reads as follows:

By The Post and Courier One of six companies seeking federal permits to conduct seismic blast tests off South Carolina currently has its application up for review by state officials.

WesternGeco, a Texas-based exploration company, wants to test from Virginia to the Georgia border.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reviewing the request.

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