PG&E considering less seismic testing
September 28, 2012
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.