Environmental groups sue Federal Government over seismic surveying

MARYLAND – Environmentalists are trying to protect our marine life and coastal economy by suing the Federal Government in response to the Trump Administration’s authorization of seismic surveying in the Atlantic Ocean.

Seismic surveying involves firing intense blasts of air into the seabed every 10 to 12 seconds for weeks or months at a time in order to look for oil and gas deposits.

The lawsuit claims that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Some environmental groups involved in the lawsuit include the Surfrider Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Oceana.

The hope is that this lawsuit will help make the voices heard of environmentalists across the East Coast.

Matt Heim, the Mid-Atlantic Organizer for Oceana said, “Studies have shown these types of air gun surveys can lead to a 40 to 80 percent reduction in catch rates in certain species of fish and it’s also a major threat to marine mammals, so we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that coastal voices are being heard and that we’re fighting this illegal decision.”

In contrast, the American Petroleum Institute insists seismic air gun blasting is not harmful, and is a safe way to find oil and gas in the ocean.

Categories: Local News, Maryland, National Politics