Nine environmental groups are suing the federal government to block seismic air gun testing for oil off the Southeast US coast.
The testing uses blasts of sound to test for oil deposits and is a precursor to offshore drilling. Conservationists say it would harm marine life, including critically endangered right whales.
Alice Keyes is with One Hundred Miles, one of the groups that filed suit Tuesday.
"We are going to do everything we can to prevent seismic testing from occurring off the Georgia coast and from impacting our marine life and our coastal communities," she said.
Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service gave permission for five companies to disturb marine life with seismic testing. That paves the way for federal permits to allow the tests.