Drilling foes block Seattle port entry; city issues notice

Foes of Royal Dutch Shell’s use of a Seattle terminal to prepare for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean have attacked on two fronts as a few hundred protesters blocked port entrances and the City of Seattle declared that Shell and its maritime host lacked a proper permit.

The city issued a violation notice late Monday afternoon, saying use of Terminal 5 by a massive floating drill rig was in violation of its permitted use as a cargo terminal. Shell’s host, Foss Maritime, can appeal that notice. Possible fines start at $150 per day.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says his company believes “that the terms agreed upon by Shell, Foss and the Port of Seattle for use of Terminal 5 are valid,” and Shell plans to continue loading its oil rigs. Foss Maritime spokesman Paul Queary says Terminal 5 “is permitted to tie up ships while they being loaded” and that’s what’s happening.