New Jersey Sues Over Seismic

The State of New Jersey has filed suit in federal court, trying to stop seismic exploration offshore of New Jersey. The defendants include the National Science Foundation; the National Marine Fisheries Service; NOAA’s Office of Coastal Managemen; and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

New Jersey’s complaint claims that this seismic authorization was issued in violation of the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act. Among other relief requested, The State asks the court to:

“set aside Defendant NMFS’ Incidental Harassment Authorization; …set aside Defendant NSF’s Finding of No Significant Impact; …enter Judgment ordering that, prior to authorizing or conducting any future seismic testing within 100 miles of New Jersey, Defendants: a. conduct an area-specific Environmental Impact Statement or, at a minimum, provide a 30-day comment period after issuing a FNSI; b. offer the State a thorough opportunity to review the proposed seismic testing under the appropriate Subpart of the coastal management regulations for consistency with its coastal management program; c. mitigate impacts to fish and marine mammals, including but not limited to the timing of the testing; and d. collect data on fish stocks and impacts.”

The state’s complaint is available here.

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