Alaska Native, Environmental Groups Challenging Shell Air Permits

Alaska Native and environmental groups announced Monday they will challenge a federal air permit granted to Royal Dutch Shell PLC for offshore drilling in Arctic waters.

Shell hopes to drill exploratory wells next summer off Alaska’s northern coasts.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued an air permit for Shell’s drill ship, the Kulluk.

Earthjustice filed the appeal to the EPA Environmental Appeals Board for a similar permit granted earlier to Shell’s other drill ship, Discoverer, on behalf of 11 environmental or Alaska Native groups.

Earthjustice attorney Colin O’Brien says in a prepared statement Shell’s fleet would emit tons of particulate, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. He says EPA is ignoring the cumulative effects of offshore Arctic industrial activity that would harm the health of Alaska Natives and the environment.

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