The Trump administration is seeking public comment on a plan to use seismic air guns to find oil and gas formations deep underneath the Atlantic Ocean floor.
The air guns are so loud they can disturb, injure or even kill whales, sea turtles and other marine life. The National Marine Fisheries Service said Monday it is seeking permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for five companies to conduct seismic surveys in the mid-Atlantic, from Delaware to central Florida.
The Interior Department resumed its permitting process for the surveys under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump. The surveys were rejected by the Obama administration.
Environmental groups and many East Coast lawmakers complain that air-gun noise can hurt marine life and harm commercial fishing and tourism.