Local group holds meeting to discuss seismic testing and offshore drilling

Local group holds meeting to discuss seismic testing and offshore drilling

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A local group is known as Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic, or SODA, met Wednesday at the Waccamaw library in the Litchfield area to discuss seismic testing and offshore drilling.

The information session discussed what seismic testing consists of.

Leaders with SODA say they oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling. The National Marine Fisheries Services issued permits last week allowing companies to test for oil or gas along the coastline with air guns.

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday in opposition to the permits by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project on behalf of 16 coastal communities in South Carolina.

The members of SODA also urged people to reach out to their elected officials to let them know they oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling.

“We just simply don’t want it,” Jim Watkins said.

Watkins is the Chair of the SODA leadership team. He says the potential for seismic testing can lead to the potential for offshore drilling, which can lead to the potential for oil spills.

“It would be detrimental because where there is drilling, there’s always spilling,” Watkins said.

North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley wasn’t at the meeting, but she spoke with WMBF News on the topic of seismic testing. She says her main concern is the potential for oil spills as well.

“It’s not a fact or if it’s going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen, because it will eventually happen,” Hatley said.

Another concern among members of SODA is the potential threat to wildlife.

“The marine mammals out there … that is their home,” Sandra Bundy said. “They have nowhere else to go.”

Watkins also expressed his concern for the real estate market and property values if offshore drilling were to take place.

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