Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Seismic testing

Public concern is mounting over PG&E's seismic testing.

The Coastal Commission has posted background information on its site:

Comments can be sent to the next agency to act on the project, National Marine Fisheries Service, before October 15.
Comments on the application should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is ITP.Goldstein@noaa.gov. NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10-megabyte file size.
All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
A copy of the application containing a list of the references used in this document may be obtained by writing to the above address, telephoning the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or visiting the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the R/V Marcus G. Langseth, has prepared a draft “Environmental Assessment Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. Marine Seismic Survey in the Pacific Ocean off Central California, 2012” (EA). NSF's EA incorporates a draft “Environmental Assessment of Marine Geophysical Surveys by the R/V Marcus G. Langseth for the Central California Seismic Imaging Project,” prepared by Padre Associates, Inc., on behalf of NSF, PG&E, and L-DEO, which is also available at the same internet address. Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address.

Points you can make in your comments:

The NMFS Environmental Assessment is inconsistent with the CA State Lands Commission EIR--- takes will be significant and unavoidable. The full report is here.

They claim they will halt blasting if marine mammals are sighted within 1.1 miles of the ship, but it's impossible for monitors to see marine mammals at night. PG&E proposes to blast every 15 seconds, 24/7.

Harbor porpoises cannot tolerate over 120 decibels; therefore unless the air gun decibel intensity is reduced, porpoises will receive Level A Harassment.
Harassment: Under the 1994 Amendments to the MMPA, harassment is statutorily defined as, any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which--
  • (Level A Harassment) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or,
  • (Level B Harassment) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering but which does not have the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild.

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