Trump Admin OKs Underwater Seismic Blasts That Could Severely Hurt Marine Life

The Trump administration announced Friday that it approved requests from five companies to survey for oil and gas under the floor of the Atlantic Ocean using a process some scientists have warned is disastrous for marine life.

The authorizations from the National Marine Fisheries Service allow companies to “incidentally, but not intentionally, harass marine mammals” while using seismic air guns to map fossil fuel reserves, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The new authorizations don’t necessarily guarantee that testing will occur, since the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management still needs to issue its own permits approving the process, according to U.S. News & World Report. However, the agency’s acting director said earlier this year that he expects to give the OK.

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