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Green groups sue Port of Seattle over Shell drilling fleet

Seattle: Environmental groups sued the Port of Seattle on Monday to prevent Royal Dutch Shell leasing a waterfront terminal for the use of its Arctic oil drilling fleet.

Groups including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club claim the port violated Washington state law when it failed to conduct an environmental review before signing a two-year lease with Foss Maritime, in February. Foss will be acting for its client, Shell. The lawsuit also names port commissioners and Foss.

Plaintiffs contend that having the Shell drilling fleet at the terminal represents a different use from the previous cargo terminal, thereby requiring a review, while in a statement the port said it “believes it has complied with all necessary environmental requirements”.

Shell, Europe’s largest energy firm, is considering resuming offshore exploratory drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast if it can obtain permits. In 2013 Shell suspended its Arctic drilling after several mishaps.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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