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Government: Offshore drilling prep should go on during suit

March 18, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The federal government says preparatory work for offshore drilling shouldn’t be halted while a lawsuit challenging the practice moves through the courts.

Attorneys for the Trump administration say in court papers filed Monday that a judge should deny a preliminary injunction request filed by coastal municipalities suing the government.

Last year, coastal cities and towns, along with environmental groups, sued to oppose the administration’s plans to conduct offshore drilling tests using seismic air guns. The suit challenges permits for the testing that precedes the drilling itself. It claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in issuing the permits.

South Carolina has also joined the lawsuit.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP