The IAGC Does Not Support Dolphin Shutdowns

Editor’s Note: The International Association of Geophysical Contractors published the following position statement:

“Dolphin shutdown policies propose that seismic operations stop or ramp down for dolphins. These dolphin shutdown proposals, as mitigation measures, broadly and substantially impact seismic operations but have no corresponding environmental benefit or scientific support. Dolphins are mid- to high-frequency specialists and, therefore, are not sensitive to the low-frequency impulse sounds emitted by seismic operations in areas of high-density dolphin populations, such as the US Gulf of Mexico, shutdown requirements for a species that frequently exhibits bow-riding behavior could bring all seismic survey activity to a halt.

GOM Seismic Litigation Settlement Stay Extended Again

In NRDC v. Bernhardt, No. 2:18-cv-01882 (E.D. LA), environmental and conservation groups have sued the Department of Interior and NOAA/NMFS alleging that their regulation of oil and gas seismic in the Gulf of Mexico violates various federal laws.  The case has been stayed pending settlement negotiations. On August 6, 2020, the judge in this case granted the parties’ motion to extend the stay until December 1, 2020.  The parties’ stay motion made several arguments in support of this stay extension, including the fact that the rules being discussed in the potential settlement “must undergo interagency review pursuant to E.O. 12866.”