Administration OKs seismic tests that could harm many thousands of dolphins, whales

n addition to harming sea life, acoustic tests - booms 10 to 12 seconds apart for days and sometimes months - can disrupt thriving commercial fisheries. State officials on the East Coast say drilling threatens beach tourism that has flourished in the absence of oil production.

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration took an important step toward future oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic shore, approving five requests allowing companies to conduct deafening seismic surveys that could harm tens of thousands of dolphins, whales and other marine animals, according to studies.

In an announcement Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, declared that it issued final “incidental take” authorizations permitting companies conducting the surveys to harm wildlife if its unintentional.

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