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IAGC: IHA litigation moot as permits remain in limbo

Questions remain about why the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management still has not made applications decisions

/EIN News/ -- HOUSTON, TX, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nikki Martin, President of the IAGC today issued the following statement regarding the United States District Court, District Of South Carolina, Charleston Division Dismissal Order in the Atlantic Seismic Survey litigation.

“Today, Judge Gergel concluded that the forthcoming November 30th expiration of the Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) will render moot the ongoing litigation over the issuance of the IHAs for prospective seismic surveys on the Atlantic OCS, and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims in this case.

“It is unfortunate that the federal government did not give the IHAs the chance to be affirmed as lawful.  Instead, as the Court stated, “for reasons never explained […], BOEM has not made a decision on the [seismic companies’] applications, despite the fact that they have been pending for several years, and Department of Justice lawyers continue to tell the Court that they do not know when a decision might be made.”

“Seismic surveys are not new to the Atlantic and have been taking place for many years.  Scientific research seismic surveys have been conducted on the Atlantic OCS over the past 50 years, with the most recent surveys occurring in 2014, 2015, and 2017 and 2018, and the federal government has issued numerous IHAs to geophysical surveys to support the citing of offshore renewable facilities in the Atlantic, even this year.  As policymakers and the public debate future offshore energy access, modern Atlantic seismic data remain critical to making informed decisions.”

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About the IAGC

Founded in 1971, the IAGC is the global trade association for the geophysical and exploration industry, the cornerstone of the energy industry.  With member companies in 50 countries, our membership includes onshore and offshore survey operators and acquisition companies, data and processing providers, exploration and production companies, equipment and software manufacturers, industry suppliers, and service providers. The IAGC supports and fosters science- and risk-based regulations consistent with existing practices that are proven to be environmentally responsible, effective and operationally feasible. ​

Gail Adams
IAGC
+1 281-702-4201
gail.adams@iagc.org