Air Pollution Permits In Hand, Shell Moves Another Step Closer To Drilling In Chukchi Sea

The EPA Appeals Board on Thursday rejected challenges to Royal Dutch Shell’s federal air pollution permits to drill exploratory wells in the pristine Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska, home to endangered polar bears and Alaska Native groups. “Achieving usable permits from the EPA is a very important step for Shell and one of the strongest indicators to date that we will be exploring our Beaufort and Chukchi leases in July,” Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith said. The waters of the Arctic are under siege from oil and gas producers eager to accelerate the global warming pollution that is melting the region. Shell still needs approval for its oil spill response plan from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

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