The State Lands Commission will try again Monday to decide whether PG&E should be allowed to conduct high-energy seismic surveys offshore of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento. A live satellite video feed of the hearing will be available in the Cayucos Room of the Inn at Morro Bay.
The meeting will also be webcast at www.cal-span.org.
The commission heard nearly five hours of testimony on the issue Tuesday, but failed to make a decision because of concerns over the significant environmental harm the surveys could do to ocean life.
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PG&E representatives then met with commission staffers to provide more information about an expedited and locally managed claims process the utility would set up to compensate fishermen and other businesses for their losses during the survey work.
“The State Lands Commission is working to find a solution that meets everyone’s concerns,” said Blair Jones, a PG&E spokesman.
The surveys call for a research vessel to emit blasts of very loud sound into the ocean every 15 seconds around the clock for 33 days from Guadalupe to Cayucos to map earthquake faults. PG&E would like to begin the survey work Oct. 1.
Local residents, environmentalists and fishermen urged the commission to either deny the surveys or find a way to reduce their environmental impacts. Many urged the commission to require that the surveys be spread over two years late in the year when marine mammal mating and fish larvae numbers are at their lowest.
“The people of California deserve to know the real risks related to Diablo Canyon, which is why Sierra Club has supported the concept of seismic testing for the power plant,” said Andrew Christie, director of the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club.
“But PG&E should not be allowed to put expediency over the environment if there are better options,” Christie said.