PG&E considering less seismic testing

September 28, 2012

The California Coastal Commission will no longer hear PG&E’s case for a seismic testing permit in October, but rather at its November meeting.

PG&E revised its planned seismic survey Thursday, causing the Coastal Commission to postpone its hearing on the matter from its October 14 meeting in Oceanside to its November 14 gathering in Santa Monica.

The utility company had planned to begin seismic testing offshore of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in early November, but now it must wait until the conclusion of its mid-November hearing before the Coastal Commission — if the permit application is approved.

PG&E had also planned to conduct testing this fall in two of the four “boxes” or zones outlined on the project map. Now it only plans to survey Box 4 off the coast of Morro Bay, postponing the testing in Box 2, which ranges from Morro Bay to northern Santa Barbara County.

Environmental advocate Julie Tacker speculates that the PG&E revisions have come as a result of this week’s California Fish and Game Commission hearing.

“They took a big beating at the Fish and Game Commission on Monday,” Tacker said.

The commission, which helped create Marine Protected Areas near Diablo Canyon, urged PG&E not to kill sea life while using sound waves to conduct seismic testing.

“They are marine life protected areas, not marine life killing areas,” Commission President Jim Kellogg said.

As with the Coastal Commission and multiple federal agencies, the Fish and Game Commission must issue a permit before PG&E can commence its survey. The State Lands Commission has already voiced its approval for the project.

Tacker, who is concerned the seismic testing will harm hundreds of species, says PG&E is slowly progressing toward execution of the project.

“As a concerned citizen and activist, I’m afraid they think they can get the project through by piece mealing it,” Tacker said.



  1. spiritpen says:

    Calling of the Whales! October 8th at 3:00pm, Avila Beach parking lot! On Facebook: Stop the Diablo Canyon Seismic Testing

    As you may have heard, our movement to save California’s Central Coast from Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation’s plan to blast it with 260db air cannon explosions has so far been successful.

    PG and E asked the California Coastal Commission to delay hearing the proposed project from October 10th in Oceanside, California to their next meeting on November 14th in Santa Monica California. The proposed project has also now been downsized to include only ‘Box 4’, also known as Estero Bay.

    The new plan remains dangerous, destructive and unnecessary and although Point Buchon State Marine Reserve has been spared, the project’s new incarnation threatens Morro Bay East estuary State Marine reserve, Cambria State Marine Reserve, and to the Northwest, Davidson Seamount!

    ~The Story of Davidson Seamount~

    When Mother Ocean felt artistic
    and put her brush to canvas

    a whirlpool drew volcanoes up
    and spread them wide as Kansas

    She sprinkled them with sunlight
    and life began to grow

    Algae bugs and rainbow slugs
    and fishes that could glow

    Sea fans and anemones
    and whispy things with legs

    Shrimp with striped antennae
    eating phytoplankton eggs

    When she was done, she raised her thumb
    and corals grew like trees

    “ I name thee Davidson Seamount”
    and she shouted, “Masterpiece!”

    -Joey Racano

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • Jeanne Blackwell says:

      I am seeing a disturbing trend here amongst the regulatory agencies in charge of the permit process. It has been determined by all parties of interest that the seismic testing will cause harm, not least of which is the marine life. To me that would seem reason enough to deny the permit. However, what is now actually occurring and this is the disturbing part, the process now is all about regulating the level of harm as opposed to stopping it altogether. I happen to be of the opinion that no harm is the only solution and regulating the level of harm is not an acceptable criteria on which to base a decision.

      As it has also been determined that there are other ways and means in which to conduct the test that do not cause any harm to marine life is reason enough to deny this permit.

      As a beneficiary, as are all those that benefit from the bounty of life and beauty the sea provides, do not give any regulatory agencies whose duty and responsibility of protecting and safeguarding that life without exception, permission to regulate the level of harm.

      Also, as a beneficiary and on behalf of our Benefactor, Mother Nature, deny any agency permission to be an accessory to a crime by granting permission for a crime against Nature to occur. Killing can not be regulated. Killing is a crime be it a little or a lot. Permission to Kill Denied.

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down

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