Company appeals SC, NC rejections of coastal seismic testing

South Carolina News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A company that wants to explore oil and gas off the eastern coast of the U.S. has asked President Donald Trump’s administration to ignore objections by environmental agencies in the Carolinas.

The Post and Courier reports WesternGeco wants U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to allow the seismic testing, arguing national interest outweighs adverse coastal effects. Seismic testing, a precursor to offshore drilling, involves using loud airgun blasts to search the ocean floor for oil and gas deposits.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control rejected the plan this summer, saying it involved too high a risk to wildlife and a seafood- and tourism-reliant economy.

An attorney with the nonprofit Southern Environmental Law Center, Catherine Wannamaker, says states can appeal to federal courts if Ross sides with WesternGeco’s expected appeal.

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