According to California Coastal Commission staff, Pacific Gas and Electric has requested that commissioners postpone their upcoming permit hearing until mid-November—beyond the date when they were expected to have boats in the water.
Surveys could still take place within the two-month window of time they have requested, but in reality, it’s not looking likely.
A Coastal Commission staffer told New Times that PG&E requested on the morning of Sept. 27 that the commission delay its planned mid-October hearing in Oceanside, San Diego County, until mid-November.
That’s well past the expected survey commencement date of Nov. 1.
"We understand that members of the San Luis Obispo community and other stakeholders have concerns about the high-energy seismic survey called for by the state and proposed by PG&E to begin this November," said Jearl Strickland, PG&E's director of nuclear projects, in a written statement. "We also understand people are concerned about the seismic nature of our region and they want to see the research performed."
"PG&E is committed to conducting all of our seismic research safely and in a manner that respects community and environmental values. We appreciate the public and regulator input we have received and continue to work collaboratively to find a balanced solution," Strickland said.
Aside from the coastal commission, PG&E still needs approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
All that within a timeframe of a month.
What this means for the survey has yet to be determined, but we'll continue to report on this issue.
*This article was updated Sept. 28 to include a statement from PG&E.