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Controversial Seismic Testing Gets A Boost From Trump Administration

Opponents in St. Augustine of oil and gas exploration. Photo by Amy Green

The Trump administration is taking another step toward expanding offshore drilling.

The administration Friday agreed to allow some harm to wildlife through an oil and natural gas exploration technique called seismic testing.

The authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act allow companies to “incidentally, but not intentionally” harm wildlife in their use of seismic testing.

The exploration technique involves blasts of sound that many scientists say disrupts vital behaviors of the marine animals like feeding and navigating. Erin Handy is with the advocacy group Oceana.

“It’s an extremely upsetting idea that these extremely loud blasts would be penetrating the ocean floor. They’re blasted out over 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for months on end.”

The testing is opposed by almost every East Coast governor including Gov. Rick Scott and hundreds of municipalities.

Handy says the next step is permits authorizing the testing in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 30 years, from Delaware to Central Florida. The permits are expected soon.



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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »