Ocean blasting: Groups seek ban as big Atlantic test looms

SANDY HOOK, NJ (AP) — Federal regulators are considering requests from four companies to look for oil and natural gas in the mid-and south Atlantic Ocean by blasting the sea bed with sound waves.

It’s an efficient way to look for energy deposits, but environmental groups fear it could harm marine mammals including whales, dolphins and turtles.

The proposed surveying would range from Delaware to Florida.

New Jersey environmentalists fought in vain against a smaller test last year off their coast. Cindy Zipf (ZIFF) of Clean Ocean Action compares the sound to a jet engine or dynamite.

The exploration companies say there is no scientific evidence of their operations killing or seriously harming marine animals.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has to grant permits allowing the companies to disturb marine life during the testing.

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