The North Carolina Coastal Federation and partner organizations filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2019 to block seismic surveys from beginning in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf until a separate lawsuit is resolved.
The initial lawsuit filed on Dec. 11, 2018 outlines that the decision to issue incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) violates three federal laws — the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
The IHAs were issued to five companies in order to conduct seismic testing surveys off our coast, a precursor to offshore drilling.
If it were not for the preliminary injunction filed on Feb. 21, the companies would have been able to proceed with seismic testing before the initial lawsuit was resolved.
The federation is awaiting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s release of a proposed oil and gas leasing program, which identifies the planning areas where lease sales for offshore drilling would occur. North Carolina is anticipated to be one of the planning areas included.
The federation is a participating member in the Don’t Drill NC Coalition. Partners across the state have decided to host pop-up rallies along the coast and in Raleigh and Asheville to demonstrate opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration along our coast.
The rallies will occur within 48 hours of the public release of the proposed plan. You can sign up to receive texts about the details of each rally in advance.
Take action by contacting your local member of Congress to express your concern.
Share this information on social media using #ProtectOurCoast. Read the press release here.
Organizations bringing the case include: Oceana, The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, North Carolina Coastal Federation, One Hundred Miles, Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation are bringing the case. The Southern Environmental Law Center is representing South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Defenders of Wildlife, North Carolina Coastal Federation and One Hundred Miles. Earthjustice is representing Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation.