U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, who represents the First Congressional District of S.C., released a statement Monday, July 8 in response to the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control’s (DHEC) decision that concluded seismic testing permits from WesternGeco in federal waters off of South Carolina are not consistent with the policies of the S.C. Coastal Management Program.
Cunningham had previously sent a letter to DHEC expressing his strong opposition to WesternGeco’s application.
“WesternGeco’s proposed seismic airgun blasting activities would violate our coastal management program and policies, which are vital to protecting the Lowcountry’s vibrant natural resources,” Cunningham said in a statement. “DHEC’s decision that WesternGeco’s application for a seismic testing permit is inconsistent with the policies of these programs is a key decision in the fight against offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting. A diverse group of voices made their opposition to the issuance of seismic testing permits known – including over 1700 individual public comments – and it’s obvious our state heard them loud and clear. I applaud DHEC for taking into account the views of South Carolinians and Lowcountry residents.”
“The state of South Carolina has ruled on our side, but we also need federal action. I urge Congress to pass my bill, H.R. 1941, which would permanently ban offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as soon as possible.”