Public Comments on Atlantic Seismic

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed authorizing seismic oil and gas exploration in the U.S. Atlantic.  Public comment on proposed Atlantic seismic is here.

Atlantic Seismic Is Safe

The Tidewater News published a guest editorial by Robert L. Bradley, the founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research. This editorial responds to opposition to oil and gas seismic off the Atlantic coast. The editorial explains that this opposition is unfounded because seismic has been demonstrated to be safe. The editorial includes the following statements:

“Seismic surveys are environmentally safe. In 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published their final Environmental Impact Statement on the issue. As their findings made clear, there ‘is no documented scientific evidence’ that air guns pose any harm to marine animals.

Fake Science, Marine Animals and Seismic Noise

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors published the following article on the IAGC website:

“Published on August 16, 2017
Andrew Long
Chief Scientist, Geoscience & Engineering at PGS | Geophysicist | Structural Geology

Regulation Streamlining Debated

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors published the following article on the IAGC website:

“Legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, who represents the northern parts of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, would make it easier for oil companies and coastal restoration projects to get environmental approval, but critics say it could harm to sea life.

Proponents of the bill say the Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act will cut away red tape and allow for much needed oil exploration and major projects to get off the ground despite concerns about seismic airgun technology.

NMFS Still Using Acoustic Guidance

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published  its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment to analyze the environmental impacts of issuing annual incidental harassment authorizations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (for the taking of marine mammals incidental to anthropogenic activities in the waters of Cook Inlet, Alaska, for the 2018 season; and its intent to continue an annual cycle for issuing MMPA IHAs in Cook Inlet such that companies planning to submit IHA applications for work to be conducted in Cook Inlet in 2018 do so by no later than October 1, 2017.

BOEM Seeks Comment on Seismic ICR

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment on BOEM’s collection of Information “BOEM-0327—Application for Permit to Conduct Geological or Geophysical Exploration for Mineral Resources of Scientific Research on the Outer Continental Shelf.” This form consists of the requirements for G&G activities requiring Permits and Notices, along with the application that the respondent submits to BOEM for approval, as well as a nonexclusive use agreement for scientific research, if applicable. The requirements portion of the form lets the respondents know the authority, requirements, along with other relevant information for the permit. This is one of Information Collection Requests that BOEM relies on regulate oil and gas seismic exploration offshore.

CRE Comments on Regulatory Reform and MMPA Take Authorizations

On August 21, 2017, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service addressing NMFS’ regulation of Marine Mammal Protection Act Take Authorizations. NMFS had asked for such comments as part of NMFS’ proceedings to streamline its regulatory processes and reduce its regulatory burden. CRE’s comments included the following executive summary (footnotes omitted):

“These CRE comments address NMFS’ regulation of MMPA Take Authorizations.
CRE is filing separate comments that address NMFS’ Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations for pesticides.

CRE Comments on BOEM’s 2019-2014 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program

On August 17, 2017, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on BOEM’s National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024.

CRE’s comments commended several recent Federal Government actions in regulating OCS oil and gas. These actions include opening parts of the Atlantic to offshore seismic exploration.

However, CRE’s comments criticized BOEM and other government agencies for relying on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s recent Acoustic Guidance in their regulation of offshore activities. CRE’s criticism of the Acoustic Guidance is based on several flaws in the Guidance that are discussed in CRE’s comments.

NMFS Seeks Comments on Seismic IHA for Northeastern Pacific Seismic IHA

Institution of Oceanography for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to a low-energy marine geophysical survey in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. Click here for more details and relevant links.

Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) , a United Nations entity, has prepared “Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities.”  These guidelines are available here.

CMS has presented these Guidelines for adoption at COP 12, the Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, to be held in Manila, October 23-28, 2017.

Click here for more details and relevant links.