Coastal panel rejects quake study near nuke plant

Nov 15, 2012
This Monday Nov. 3,2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach on California's central coast. California coastal regulators were set to weigh in Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 on the utility's contentious plan to map offshore earthquakes faults near a nuclear power plant by blasting loud air cannons. A commission staff report said the work would disturb some 7,000 marine mammals in the region. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

(AP)—California coastal regulators have rejected a proposal by a utility to map earthquake faults near a nuclear power plant by firing air cannons offshore.

Environmentalists Cody Riechers, sitting left, and Connor Chicott, middle, hold up signs, during a California Coastal Commission meeting in Santa Monica, Calif. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The California Coastal Commission is weighing whether to grant a permit to the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. project, a utility to conduct seismic imaging off the coast of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Wednesday's unanimous vote to deny a permit came after an hours-long public hearing attended by environmentalists, fishermen and residents who were overwhelmingly opposed to the seismic testing.

Even the staff of the California Coastal Commission urged the panel to reject the plan. It said more than 7,000 sea mammals including , blue whales, humpback whales and harbor porpoises would be affected.

Pacific Gas & Electric countered that the study, which would make 3-D maps of quake faults, is needed to understand the seismic hazards near the Diablo Canyon plant.

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