Staff Report for The Island Connection
On Dec. 10, Representatives Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) joined together in sending a letter signed by 31 members of the House to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It requested a halt to the permitting and review process for potential seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, the letter asks the BOEM to prepare a new environmental review of proposed testing that takes into account the full extent of the impacts — ranging from economic to ecological — caused by seismic airgun testing.
“The current basis for issuing seismic testing permits is incomplete,” said Rep. Sanford. “It does not take into account the long-term effects that seismic testing will have on marine life or the impact on the economy due to industrialization of the coast. Accordingly, we don’t think testing that could profoundly affect our coastal communities should be allowed to proceed based on an insufficient study.”
“Over 85 cities and counties along the Atlantic coast have spoken out against seismic testing or offshore drilling, but current protocols don’t allow them access to the testing data to determine whether the risks of seismic testing outweigh the potential benefits from offshore drilling.”