On December 11, 2018, several environmental and conservation groups filed a complaint against the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and Wilber Ross, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is NMFS’ parent agency. This complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. It challenges five Incidental Harassment Authorizations for oil and gas seismic and other exploratory operations in the Atlantic Ocean. NMFS recently issued these IHAs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”). The plaintiffs allege that NMFS violated the MMPA, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act when NMFS issued these permits.
The International Association of Geophysical contractors recently posted the above-titled article by Robert W. Chase on one of IAGC’s websites. This article begins as follows:
“If you care about our nation’s economy and jobs, now is not the time to oppose seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. Yet that is precisely what several East Coast governors have done in an effort to block oil and natural gas exploration and production on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published notice of BOEM’s intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. This SEIS is expected to be used to inform the decisions for each of the two proposed oil and gas lease sales scheduled in 2020 and the subsequent lease sales through 2022 that are comprised of the Gulf of Mexico Western and Central Planning Areas, and a small portion of the Eastern Planning Area not subject to Congressional moratorium. These planning areas are located off the States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. There is no public comment period for BOEM’s notice.
The International Association of Geophysical Contractors has announced that its 48th Annual Conference–Accelerating Exploration, Expanding Energy Possibilities—will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM CST, at the Hilton Westchase, 9999 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 770422.
Click here for more details and relevant links.