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Soundings Archive

NSF Publishes Seismic DPEIS for Hearings and Comments
On October 8, 2010, the U. S. National Science Foundation published Federal Register notice of the availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for marine seismic research funded by NSF or conducted by the US Geological Service. NSF requests public review and comment on the document. In the same Federal Register notice, NSF also provides notice of public hearings on the Draft PEIS.

The Division of Ocean Sciences in the Directorate for Geosciences has prepared the Draft PEIS as the lead agency with support from two cooperating agencies, USGS and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NSF's Federal register notice explains that the Draft PEIS assesses the potential impacts of marine seismic research on the human and natural environment. Under the Proposed Action, a variety of acoustic sources used for research activities funded by NSF or conducted by the USGS would be operated from various research vessels operated by U.S. academic institutions or government agencies. The seismic acoustic sources would include various airgun configurations (particularly strings or arrays with as little as 2 to as many as 36 seismic airguns), as well as low-energy seismic and non-seismic acoustic sources.

Two action alternatives and the No-Action Alternative have been carried forward for analysis. The Draft PEIS is available for public review for a 45-day period. Comments must be submitted on or before November 22, 2010.

NSF will conduct two public hearings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft PEIS. Federal, state, and local agencies and interested individuals are invited to be present or represented at the public hearings. All hearings will start with an open house session, followed by a presentation, and then the formal oral public comment period. Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:

    Monday, October 25, 2010, 5-7 p.m. at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University California-San Diego, Vaughn Hall, Room 100, Discovery Way, La Jolla, CA.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 5-7 p.m. at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 110, Arlington, VA.
The Draft PEIS is available on NSF's Web site at:
  • Click here to NSF's Federal Register notice
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