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SC environmental agency says no to coastal seismic testing

July 11, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina environmental officials say a company’s proposed seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean don’t align with its coastal management policies.

A Monday letter by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control says WesternGeco’s proposal for exploring offshore oil and gas involves too much risk to wildlife and an economy reliant on seafood and tourism. Seismic testing involves using loud airgun blasts to search the ocean floor for oil and gas deposits.

The letter says that all of the 1,720 public comments received about the proposal were opposed. The letter says the agency previously allowed other companies to perform seismic activities off the coast, but new research since then has caused a change of heart.

WesternGeco has 30 days to ask the U.S. Commerce secretary to overrule the objection.

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