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Environmental groups in South Carolina appeal against seismic gun tests for oil and gas

Charleston, Folly Beach and Beaufort cities in South Carolina have joined an appeal filed against the first permit to allow for seismic guns to be used to explore oil and gas along the Palmetto State's coast.

The appeal was filed by the SC Coastal Conservation League and the SC Wildlife Federation along with Abundant Seafood with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

The environmental groups say that the method depends on shooting loud cannon blasts into the sea to locate fossil fuels, which could be harmful for marine life and requested it be stopped immediately.

"Critics say that the practice may damage dolphins and fish, as well as endangered sea turtles and right whales."

Critics say that the practice may damage dolphins and fish, as well as endangered sea turtles and right whales.

Three weeks ago, Spectrum Geo's proposal received approval from the regulator, claiming the practice would not have much impact on marine life.

The department gave its consent based on conditions that testing should be avoided where the water is shallower than 98ft deep and from April to September, a nesting season for sea turtle.

Hamilton Davis with SC Coastal Conservation League said that the request is to consider the risks that may harm the marine resources due to seismic testing.

DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley said the agency board needs to take a decision by early June whether to hear the appeal.

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