Urge Commission to Reject Seismic Testing on the Central Coast.
UPDATE: Thank you for supporting this issue. On November 14, 2012 the CA Coastal Commission voted unanimously to deny this destructive project. Please visit Surfrider Foundation to learn more and stay up to date on issues affecting your beach.
This fall, (during the migration season of the gray whale), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is proposing to conduct seismic testing off the Central Coast in order to map fault lines near the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Surfrider opposes PG&E’s efforts and questions the overall value of the project—especially considering the testing will not provide new, concrete evidence about seismic hazards. Seismic testing can have devastating impacts on ocean ecosystems. Imagine a bomb exploding every 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks on end! Sound blasts can either harm or kill marine life.
Surfrider is also concerned about impacts to ocean users. PG&E’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) even states seismic testing could expose ocean users to harmful noise levels if present during active testing. PG&E's EIR says: “Studies have shown that high levels of underwater noise can cause dizziness, hearing damage, or other sensitive organ damage to divers and swimmers, as well as indirect injury due to startle responses”. “Noise levels in excess of 154 dB could be considered potentially harmful to recreational divers and swimmers in the Project area”.
Plus, this project duplicates decades of work that have been conducted by several entities. A former PG&E geologist and a current USGS geologist concur that the proposed testing will only offer marginal improvement of what is already known.
To learn more about the issue, read a comment letter Surfrider submitted to the Coastal Commission on behalf of the local Chapter. And go here for our position statement on the issue.