WASHINGTON (CN) – Eleven species of dolphins and whales may be injured or have their behavior patterns disturbed by explosions to tear down defunct oil derricks in the Gulf of Mexico over the next five years, according to a new Commerce Department regulation. The rule allows “small numbers” of marine mammals to be killed or hurt incidentally during these explosions.
The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service requires oil and gas lease holders to remove seafloor obstructions within a year of lease termination, and the Commerce Department has determined that fewer offshore workers may be harmed when explosives are used than when cutting tools are used.
This rule allows “small numbers” of marine mammals to be killed or hurt incidentally during these explosions. It also requires mitigation, monitoring and reporting.
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