Earthjustice, on behalf of nine environmental groups, yesterday filed an appeal with the Environmental Appeals Board against the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to issue an air quality permit for Shell’s use of its Kulluk floating drilling platform for exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea starting in 2012.
The appeal comes just over a month after an appeal against the air quality permit for Shell’s use of the Noble Discoverer drillship in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
“These air permits violate the Clean Air Act and open the door to dangerous drilling in the Arctic,” said Vera Pardee of the Center for Biological Diversity when announcing the appeal. “Rather than turning the pristine Arctic into an industrial zone, the Obama administration should be focusing on safer, cleaner sources of energy.”
“Shell has made every effort to reduce emissions to the lowest possible level. That includes hundreds of millions in upgrades and modifications to both of our drill ships and the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel on all of our vessels,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told Petroleum News in an email today. “We are confident in the EPA’s finding that our drilling program will have no negative impact on coastal communities and we are equally confident that we will have a usable air permit once this challenge has run its course.”