Seismic surveyors follow rules to protect marine life

The International association of Geophysical contractors published the following article:

“Seismic surveyors follow rules to protect marine life
By Gail Adams
My Word columnist
OCTOBER 9, 2017, 10:00 AM

The United States has an 80-year history of discovering helpful scientific data from marine seismic surveying. Currently, less than 10 percent of federal waters are open for energy exploration due to current regulations. Also, to date, there is no scientific data indicating any risks to marine life associated with sound from seismic exploration activities.

NMFS Requests Comments on Navy Submarine Base IHA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published notice that NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take, by harassment, of marine mammals incidental to conducting pier construction at the Navy Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, beginning October 2018 and ending March 2022. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS requests comments on the Navy’s request.  NMFS must receive any comments and information no later than November 1, 2017.  Click here for more information and relevant links.

OMB Reviewing NMFS’ Draft Proposed GOM Take Rules

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is reviewing draft proposed rules authorizing the Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Conducting Geological and Geophysical Exploration of Mineral and Energy Resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. These draft proposed rules were developed and sent to OMB by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. NMFS has not yet published them for public comment yet.  OMB is reviewing the draft proposed rules under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. Click here for OMB’s website for this review.

CRE Comments on UN’s Use of NOAA’s Acoustic Guidance

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness has filed comments on the U.N.’s Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals document “Addressing the adverse impact of underwater noise on migratory species.” CRE’s comments made the following points, among others.

The technical guidance documents for this UN Voluntary Commitment use and rely on a recent U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Document that CMS  refers to as “(NOAA, 2016).” This NOAA document is often referred to as NOAA’s Acoustic Guidance.

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness recommends that CMS not use or rely on (NOAA, 2016) at this time for several reasons, including the following.

CRE Comments on National Marine Fisheries Service Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment on the Issuance of Incidental Take Authorizations in Cook Inlet, Alaska

CRE’s September 27, 2017 comments to NMFS criticized NMFS’ intended use of its Acoustic Guidance for the following and other reasons.

First, the Acoustic Guidance may not exist much longer. The Department of Commerce and NOAA are in the middle of a process to determine whether to rescind or revise the Guidance.

Second, OMB has not authorized an Information Collection Request (“ICR”) for the Acoustic Guidance. NMFS cannot force anyone to use the Acoustic Guidance, or penalize anyone for not using the Acoustic Guidance, without an OMB-approved ICR for it.

NMFS Proposes Southwest Pacific Ocean IHA for L-DEO

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to a marine geophysical survey in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. 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 notice of our final decision. Comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than October 26, 2017. Click here for more detail and relevant links.

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.