Environmental groups to sue over offshore drilling tests

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Environmental groups are suing President Donald Trump’s administration over plans to conduct offshore drilling tests.

A coalition planned to gather Tuesday in Charleston, South Carolina, to announce a federal lawsuit to stop issuance of permits for the use of seismic air guns.

Trump’s administration has authorized five such permits, which aim to find oil and gas formations deep underneath the Atlantic Ocean floor, from Delaware to central Florida. Seismic surveys haven’t been conducted in the region for decades.

The blasts are conducted in preparation for potential offshore drilling, which the administration has proposed to expand from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to private development.

Environmentalists say the blasts can disturb marine mammals.

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