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Shell Oil's Arctic Drilling Clean Air Act Permits

Case Number # 2019

Belugas are social animals that often migrate, hunt and interact with each other in groups ranging from ten to several hundred. They are near the top of the Arctic marine food chain, feeding on fish, squid and crustaceans. Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Photo: (c) Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)
The waters off the Arctic—especially the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas—host a rich variety of marine life, such as beluga whales. Belugas are social animals that often migrate, hunt and interact with each other in groups ranging from ten to several hundred. They are near the top of the Arctic marine food chain, feeding on fish, squid and crustaceans.
Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Photo: © Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

In March 2010, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued to Shell Oil two multi-year major source air permits for its exploration drilling operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Earthjustice, on behalf of several petitioners, filed a petition for review of the permits in front of the Environmental Appeals Board, an administrative court within the EPA.

The petition challenged approval of both Shell’s Chukchi and Beaufort permits on the grounds that EPA failed to apply best available control technology to Shell’s support vessels’ air emissions. The EAB, in December 2010, concluded the permits had been issued unlawfully and remanded the permits back to the EPA for further analysis. The EPA is now reconsidering the permits in light of the EAB’s order.

Press Releases

Friday, January 11, 2013
Obama urged to stop taking risks in the Arctic
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Shell asking for weaker air pollution limits
Monday, October 24, 2011
Decision moves Shell one step closer to unsafe, destructive offshore oil drilling
Monday, September 19, 2011
Move opens the path for drilling in remote, pristine waters as early as 2012
Friday, August 5, 2011
Agency continues to rubber-stamp dangerous offshore drilling; Scientists agree more data needed to understand the effects of oil development
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Hearings in the House of Representatives outline oil industry giveaways