Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Permit Authorizing Harrassment of Southern Sea Otters Near San Luis Obispo County

Sep 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
Contact: Scott Flaherty 916-978-6156

Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Permit Authorizing Harrassment of Southern Sea Otters Near San Luis Obispo County

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on its proposal to issue a permit (Incidental Harrassment Authorization or IHA) that would authorize harrassment of southern sea otters incidental to a 2.5 month seismic survey in the vicinity of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCCP) and known offshore fault zones near the DCCP in San Luis Obispo County, California.  A notice describing the proposed project was published in today’s Federal Register at can be viewed at

The seismic survey project is a collaborative effort between Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), a part of Columbia University.  The project would consist of deploying a seismic sound source (airgun) offshore and receivers at both onshore and offshore locations to generate data that could be used to improve imaging of major geologic structures and fault zones in the vicinity of the DCPP.  Project activities are necessary to comply with the requirements established by California State Assembly Bill 1632 and directives of the California Public Utilities Commission to determine whether there is any relationship between the known faults and to enhance knowledge of offshore faults that are located in proximity to the Central California Coast and DCPP.

The Service proposes to issue an IHA for southern sea otters harassed incidentally by the applicant in the course of conducting seismic surveys beginning October 15, 2012, and ending December 31, 2012.  The final IHA, if issued, will incorporate an exceptional level of mitigation, monitoring and reporting requirements. Although mobilization could begin in October, no seismic airgun activity would be authorized before November 1. The permit would not authorize the killing or injuring of sea otters.

Comments and information must be received by October 26, 2012. Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:

-- By U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Diane Noda, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003.

-- By fax to: 805-644-3958, attention to Diane Noda, Field Supervisor.

-- By electronic mail (email) to

Please include your name and return address in your message.

More information regarding the application and proposed permit is available from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office website at:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.