From the Associated Press:
Oil and gas companies working in the Gulf of Mexico have agreed not to use seismic surveys for the next 2 1/2 years in three areas considered critical to whales and along the coast during the calving season for bottlenose dolphins.
The agreement among three environmental groups, several trade groups and the U.S. Interior Department was filed Thursday afternoon in federal court in New Orleans.
Michael Jasny of the Natural Resources Development Council says the 30-month period will give the government and industry time for required environmental studies and research.
Environmental groups say the surveys, involving repeated bangs by air guns, can damage whales and baby dolphins.
Eric Milito of the American Petroleum Institute says industry agreed to the measures although it feels the risk of harm is minor.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.