LOS ANGELES — Citing harm to marine life, California coastal regulators on Wednesday soundly rejected a utility’s plan to map offshore earthquake faults near a nuclear power plant by blasting loud air cannons. The unanimous vote by the California Coastal Commission came after an hours-long public hearing attended by environmentalists, fishermen and residents who were overwhelmingly opposed to the seismic testing.
The proposed survey by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. involves firing sonic pulses into the ocean. Sensors on the seafloor would pick up the echoes to create 3-D maps of geologic faults that the utility said are needed to understand the seismic hazards around the Diablo Canyon facility. “If you live near a nuclear plant, wouldn’t you want more certainty in the assumptions that are being made?” asked Mark Krausse, a PG&E director.