Injunction to stop offshore Rutgers study denied

A federal judge has denied a request by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for an injunction to stop an offshore sea level study, the Associated Press is reporting.

The state and other critics have said the study, which involves sending pulses of sound deep into the ocean floor, could harm marine mammals and both commercial and recreational fisheries, ultimately affecting the state's tourism economy.

The state said it was not granted an adequate opportunity to evaluate the plan, but earlier today Judge Peter Sheridan on disagreed, the AP said. Sheridan said he would order the blasts to stop for one day if the state notifies him that it intends to appeal.

A federal government lawyer said at the hearing that there will not be any long-term harm to sea life, the AP reported.

The researchers are at sea on a specialized vessell owned by the National Science Foundation, and the study began on July 1. The principal investigator is Rutgers University geologist Gregory S. Mountain.

Some of our previous stories have run only in the New Jersey edition of the printed paper.  So here's the run-down so far:

The first story describing the study, what it could show, why it's important and what the critics say.

Another story, when the study receives permission from the National Marine Fisheries Service for a "take" -- or a harming -- of marine species.  The agency says none are expected to be injured or killed, just harassed.

New Jersey seeks an injunction to halt the study. .

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