"The Interior Department said Friday that it will allow companies to use seismic air guns and other methods to gauge oil-and-gas resources underlying Atlantic Coast waters," National Journal reports.
"The department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management finalized a plan that lays out a series of environmental restrictions—aimed at protecting marine life, such as whales, dolphins, and sea turtles—for companies seeking to look for oil in mid- and South Atlantic waters. A number of companies have applied for permits for testing that would update old estimates of oil and gas underlying the waters that have long been off-limits to drilling."
"The plan is a blow to environmentalists who say that the underwater blasts will wreak havoc... Opponents of oil-and-gas development fear that the plan is a step toward allowing companies to start drilling off the Atlantic Coast."