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DEQ Secretary statement on WesternGeco seismic testing decision

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is disappointed to learn of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to override North Carolina's Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Consistency Objection to WesternGeco’s proposal to conduct Geological and Geophysical (Seismic) surveys off the North Carolina coast. The effect of this decision is that the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management’s (DCM) consistency objection no longer prohibits the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing a permit to WesternGeco. Numerous studies, including several new studies completed in the last few years, indicate the proposed seismic testing poses an unacceptable threat to North Carolina’s marine life and its coastal recreational and commercial fisheries.

“This proposed seismic testing for oil and gas exploration has no place off our coast,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan.  “Our coastal resources are too precious to risk from these proposed activities. We stand with all of the coastal communities who have made their opposition to the proposed seismic testing and offshore oil and gas clear.”

Local leaders have met with state officials and signed a resolution to oppose seismic testing and the offshore drilling that would follow.

North Carolina can appeal Secretary Ross’ decision to the federal courts and the state is reviewing the next steps.

Documents can be found on the DCM website at: