[MARMAM] BOEM denies geophysical survey permits in Atlantic
mjasny at nrdc.org
Fri Jan 6 13:59:42 PST 2017
Today, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it had denied all six applications for seismic oil and gas surveys now pending off the U.S. east coast. In denying the permits, BOEM concluded that the environmental risks of allowing the surveys to go forward outweighed the benefits. In particular, it cited as reasons for denial the potential harm to marine mammals, including the North Atlantic right whale; the possible future availability of lower-impact seismic technologies, such as vibroseis, if surveys are deferred; the lack of any immediate need for seismic exploration given the removal of the Atlantic from the administration's 5-year leasing program; and the possibility that data acquired today could become outdated if leasing is opened too far into the future.
About the North Atlantic right whale, BOEM wrote: "Given that the next Five Year Program excludes the Atlantic from leasing from 2017-2022, and the potential for less intrusive seismic technologies in the near future, the potential disadvantage to this small, critically endangered, and declining population is not worth the risk."
BOEM's press release on the denials is here: https://www.boem.gov/press01062017/. Please let me know if you have questions.
Director, Marine Mammal Protection
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
4479 W. 5th Avenue
Vancouver, bc v6r1s4
mjasny at NRDC.ORG<mailto:mjasny at NRDC.ORG>
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