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City of Seattle Investigation Finds The Port of Seattle Cannot Serve As Shell’s Arctic Drilling Homeport Under Its Current Permit

Earthjustice Statement: Seattle’s investigation into Shell’s Arctic homeport lease
The Port of Seattle.

The Port of Seattle.

Camknows / Flickr
May 4, 2015
Seattle, WA —

Mayor Ed Murray announced today that the Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s investigation showed the Port of Seattle cannot use Terminal 5 as a homeport for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet under its current permit. The Port is in violation of its twenty-year-old shoreline permit issued by the City.

On March 2, in King County Superior Court, Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, The Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council, and Seattle Audubon Society. That legal challenge details the Port’s circumvention of public process and violation of the State Environmental Policy Act. The City’s decision today is consistent with our argument that Shell’s use of Terminal 5 is a change from the Terminal’s historical use as a cargo terminal and requires environmental review and the issuance of new permits.

Statement from Patti Goldman, Earthjustice’s managing attorney on Mayor Murray’s announcement:

“We applaud the Mayor’s office and the City of Seattle for prioritizing this investigation and reaching a conclusion consistent with the law and the public’s interest in full participation,” said Earthjustice Managing Attorney Patti Goldman. “We urge the Port of Seattle’s commissioners to take the Mayor’s invitation to use this opportunity to reevaluate the Port’s priorities and to reject Shell’s use of Seattle’s waters as a homeport for its harmful Arctic drilling operations.”

Read the March 2 press release and legal complaint.