Florida wants feds to delay Atlantic oil exploration

Author: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida wants the Obama administration to delay its permitting to companies who want to use seismic air guns off of the state’s Atlantic Coast for oil and gas exploration.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection sent a letter on April 20 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management saying the state is concerned that not enough is known about whether the seismic tests are harmful to marine life.

The air guns emit canon-like air blasts underwater, the sound from which is used to map geological formations beneath the seabed.

Florida officials say they are concerned about sea turtles, the endangered North Atlantic right whale and fisheries that are important to the state’s economy.

BOEM has said no applications will be approved without safeguards for marine life.

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