• National Science Foundation Announces Public Hearings, Comment Opportunity on Draft PEIS

    The National Science Foundation is announcing public hearings and request for public comments on a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS/OEIS) “for Marine Seismic Research Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or Conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).”

    “The Division of Ocean Sciences in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO/OCE) has prepared the Draft PEIS as the lead agency with support from the cooperating agencies, USGS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    The Draft PEIS assesses the potential impacts of marine seismic research on the human and natural environment. Under the Proposed Action, a variety of acoustic sources used for research activities funded by NSF or conducted by the USGS would be operated from various research vessels operated by U.S. academic institutions or government agencies. The seismic acoustic sources would include various airgun configurations (particularly strings or arrays with as little as 2 to as many as 36 seismic airguns), as well as low-energy seismic and nonseismic acoustic sources.”

    The Draft PEIS is available on NSF’s website at: http://www.nsf.gov/geo/oce/envcomp/index.jsp

    The Draft PEIS is available for public review for a 45-day period. Comments must be submitted on or before November 22, 2010.

    Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:

    • Monday, October 25, 2010, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University California-San Diego, Vaughn Hall, Room 100, Discovery Way, La Jolla, CA.
    • Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 110, Arlington, VA.

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