The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has revealed a final environmental review of geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities on the effects of geological and geophysical activities to explore energy resources along the Atlantic seaboard.
The review establishes multiple mitigation measures that have been designed to cut down the impacts to marine life.
BOEM’s review also sets a path for survey activities that are set to update nearly four-decade-old data on offshore energy resources in the region.
In the programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS), the agency identifies the protective mitigation measures, as well as the safeguards to reduce or eliminate impacts to marine life.
The BOEM has identified some mitigation strategies to combat adverse impacts on wildlife, including avoidance of collisions between animals and exploration vessels, and closure of areas during the migration of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
The efforts also include passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to supplement visual observers and improve detection of marine mammals prior to and during seismic airgun surveys.
The PEIS, which does not authorise any G&G activities, establishes a framework for additional mandatory environmental reviews for site-specific actions and identifies measures governing any future G&G activities that are broadly applicable.
BOEM director Tommy Beaudreau said: "Analysis of this scale is a significant undertaking that has involved extensive public input and coordination among several federal agencies and state governments.
"The department and BOEM have been steadfast in our commitment to balancing the need for understanding offshore energy resources with the protection of the human and marine environment using the best available science as the basis of this environmental review."