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Environmentalists file lawsuit to block offshore drilling

GULF OF MEXICO — The Mississippi Sierra Club and The Gulf Restoration Network have asked a Hinds County judge to block the state from enacting new regulations on offshore drilling.

Dan Turner, spokesman for the Mississippi Development Authority, said he has not seen the lawsuit and cannot comment.

The groups contend the process is moving too fast and hasn’t been properly studied and they have filed a lawsuit in Hinds County Chancery Court seeking to block the drilling regulations MDA has drafted.

State officials want to lease state waters in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil and gas exploration. The groups say that means drilling rigs could go up near barrier islands and ruin the pristine areas.

The rules are to take effect this month unless stopped by a judge.

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