Sonic data gathering for potential earthquake hazards to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant would be denied by a last-minute vote at the California Coastal Commission. The agency plans at its Nov. 14 meeting to deny Pacific Gas & Electric\u2019s plan to use high-decibel sound cannons in an attempt to measure the underwater terrain near the 2,200 MW facility. \u201cThere is insufficient evidence in the record to determine whether the development will be in conformity with the policies\u201d of state law, notes the proposed decision released Nov. 2. Last August, the California State Lands Commission truncated the utility\u2019s plans in order to reduce harm to fisheries and other marine life, and curb local economic impacts. PG&E further reduced the amount of time the planned sonic tests would be conducted from two months to one month beginning in late November. It is a prelude to more tests. San Luis Obispo County supervisors formally oppose the testing. Last week they voted to send a letter to the Coastal Commission noting their position. The National Marine Fisheries Service considers the potential tests \u201charassment\u201d and potentially a lethal invasion to marine life. \u201cHarassment,\u201d according to the federal government, causes a change in fish or mammal behavior. The Coastal Zone Management Act requires the Coastal Commission to sign off on the federal permit, noted a Fisheries spokesperson. PG&E officials have repeatedly pledged to stop any testing if harm to mammals is observed. According to the Coastal Commission \u201cover 7,000 individual marine mammals from 17 species would be exposed to sound levels sufficient to result in some level of disturbance and behavioral disruption. Among these are four species of whale--fin whales, blue whales, humpback whales, and harbor porpoise--expected to experience \u2018high or medium magnitude\u2019 disturbance.\u201d Porpoises are expected to take the brunt of the sound waves--at a level far exceeding human ear drum destruction. \u201cEvery individual in the entire population would experience multiple disturbances,\u201d notes the Coastal Commission. Commercial fisheries in the Central Coast are expecting a loss of fishing seasons over the winter. They are actively negotiating with PG&E for compensation due to potential lost income. The Coastal Commission estimates the fish catch at $4 million from 2009 numbers. The California Public Utilities Commission approved $64 million for the studies, and the same amount for seismic data gathering near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. State law requires data gathering, but does not specify how the information is to be obtained.