Susan Murray, Oceana’s Pacific Senior Director, issued the following statement as Oceana joined a petition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 for the recall of air permits for Shell’s Discoverer drillship. The Discoverer drillship, along with the Kulluk drillship that received a permit this past Friday, are scheduled to head to the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas for ocean offshore oil drilling in the summer of 2012. The permit would allow Shell’s fleet to emit significant amounts of air pollutants that are harmful to human health and the environment:
“Oceana is disheartened at the EPA’s blatant disregard of their mission to ‘protect human health and the environment’. Oceana along with other groups request the Environmental Appeals Board revoke and review the air permits.
“The decisions the EPA are making open the floodgates for increased air pollution in the Arctic. Allowing relaxed emission levels for drilling operations is a horrible precedent that will ultimately pollute the crisp Arctic airshed.
“The Clean Air Act was designed not only to clean up dirty air, but also to prevent clean air from becoming polluted. This bad permit simply does not require Shell to comply with limits designed to keep air clean.
“America needs to do what is best for the Arctic ecosystem and not what is best for an oil company’s bottom line. The vibrancy and biodiversity of Arctic communities and ecosystems depend on how we manage development. Oceana will continue to work towards ensuring that development will not harm ecosystem health, including subsistence.”