4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following notice on the IAGC website:

“4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics (UACE2017)
Sunday, September 03, 2017 – Friday, September 08, 2017 CST

The 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics (UACE2017) is to be held during the days 3rd through 8th of September 2017 on the Greek Island of Skiathos (http://www.uaconferences.org). The conference will contain a structured session titled: ‘Acoustics of marine renewable energy developments

This session is being arranged by Philippe Blondel (University of Bath), Paul Lepper (Loughborough University), and Stephen Robinson (NPL).

We are writing to invite you and your organisation to present a paper at this session.

BOEM Publishes Final GOM G&G PEIS

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published BOEM’s Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for evaluating potential environmental effects of geological and geophysical activities in Outer Continental Shelf waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  This PEIS analyzes potential impacts of the proposed action, provides an analysis of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, and identifies BOEM’s preferred alternative. The Final Programmatic EIS considers G&G activities for BOEM’s three programs, i.e., Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy, and Marine Minerals.  Click here for more details and relevant links.

Article on Atlantic Seismic IHAs

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article by Alan Kovski, Daily Environmental Report, on the IAGC website:

“Five oil and gas service companies are awaiting decisions by the National Marine Fisheries Service on their proposals for Atlantic offshore seismic surveys that could harm whales and other marine life.

The service, which can issue authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, is reviewing a high volume of opposing and supporting public comments that were filed by the July 21 deadline.

Senators Write in Support of OCS Oil; and Gas Leasing

Thirty-six senators sent a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinc. The letter is dated July 26, 2017. It supports the Department of the Interior’s new Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Five-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024. A copy of this letter is available here.

NMFS Seeks Comment on Proposed IHA for Central Pacific Ocean

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to grant the University of Hawaii for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to a marine geophysical survey in the Central 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 final notice of our decision. Comments and information must be received no later than August 23, 2017.

Article on Seismic and Health

The International association of Geophysical contractors published the following article on the IAGC website:

“Geoscience & Health

Published on July 18, 2017

If there is one thing that nearly every person experiences – it is getting sick. We have all had colds or the flu. A sore back. A toothache. We count on our doctors to listen, provide a diagnosis for whatever ails us, and recommend a way forward. But did you know that your health care starts way before the moment when you step into your doctor’s office and she listens to your heart? It might surprise you to learn that geoscience plays an integral, essential role in keeping you, your family, your pets, and the natural world around you in fighting shape.

House Hearing on Seismic Surveys

The International Association of Geophysical contractors posted the following article:

Dem waves air gun as panel clashes over seismic testing

Rob Hotakainen, E&E News reporter
Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A House Natural Resources panel clashed yesterday over the question of whether loud sounds from seismic air gun surveying for oil and gas deposits beneath the oceans can damage marine mammals.

California Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman said the blasts of up to 120 decibels, repeated every 10 to 12 seconds, have “an enormous and obvious impact” and should not be allowed under federal law.

CRE Comments on Acoustic Guidance Non-Compliance with Executive Orders

On July 16, 2017, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (“CRE”) filed Comments on Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing—Acoustic Threshold Levels for Onset of Permanent and Temporary Threshold Shifts, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. 82 FR 24950 (May 31, 2017), https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-05-31/pdf/2017-11035.pdf.

CRE’s comments included the following Executive Summary:

“NMFS’ Use of the Acoustic Guidance Conflicts with Section 10 of Executive Order 13795 for the following and other reasons.

First, the Acoustic Guidance is unnecessary to ensure that oil and gas seismic is safe and environmentally responsible.

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.

NMFS Extends Comment Period for Atlantic Seismic IHAs

On June 6, 2017, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published a Federal Register notice of five proposed incidental harassment authorizations, pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, to incidentally harass marine mammals during the conduct of geophysical survey activity in the Atlantic Ocean, with comments due by July 6, 2017. In response to requests to extend the public comment period, NMFS has extended the public comment period.  Click here for more details and relevant links.