Smith, Zak

Zak Smith is an attorney for the The Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Marine Mammal Protection Project. NRDC is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment.

Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico Cause Harm to Marine Mammals

By Zak Smith
Natural Resources Defense Council
As we continue to hear more about animals trapped in the toxic sludge that is the BP oil disaster fall out in the Gulf, NRDC joined a coalition in suing the renamed Minerals Management Service (MMS) – it now styles itself the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (as if rebranding will solve the agency’s problems) – for its failure to comply with our nation’s bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), when permitting seismic exploration for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico.
Thousands of endangered animals live in the Gulf and are subjected to harassment and injury by seismic exploration in the form of air gun explosions as oil and gas exploration companies search for black gold at the bottom of the Gulf.