State coastal agency accepting comments on seismic testing related to offshore oil and gas development

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The N.C. Division of Coastal Management is accepting public comment on a request for review of a federal consistency submission from a fifth company proposing seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean related to oil and gas resource development off the North Carolina coast.
WesternGeco is proposing to conduct a Marine Geophysical Survey via 2D seismic testing off the North Carolina coast to gather geological and geophysical data that could provide information about the feasibility of future development of offshore oil and gas resources. The survey would involve a vessel towing seismic airgun arrays.
The survey would take place entirely in federal waters, adjacent to North Carolina’s coastal zone. State law does not require coastal development permits for projects outside of the state waters, but the federal Coastal Zone Management Act requires federal applicants to coordinate with the state for any proposed activity that affects land use, water use or any natural resource within the coastal zone.
Documents pertaining to the proposed project are available on the division’s website, as are materials pertaining to earlier consistency submissions from four other companies.
The public may comment in writing or at a meeting scheduled for May 20 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, 3505 Arendell St., Morehead City. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. or until comments are concluded (whichever comes first). Each speaker will be allowed to comment for up to 3 minutes.
The division will accept written comments on the proposal until noon on June 7. Written comments should be mailed to DCM Comments, c/o Daniel Govoni, 400 Commerce Avenue, Morehead City, NC 28557 or emailed to DCMComments@ncdenr.gov.

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