Shell subsidiaries settle federal air pollution charges in Alaska

Two Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiaries agreed to settle US Environmental Protection Agency charges that they violated the federal Clean Air Act at their operations in Alaska, EPA’s Region 10 office in Seattle announced on Sept. 5.

It said Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. agreed to pay a $710,000 fine for allegedly exceeding air emissions limits at its Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea in September 2012. Shell Offshore Inc. agreed to pay a $390,000 fine for alleged air permit violations at its Kulluk drilling rig in the Beaufort Sea, EPA added.

Charges were based on EPA inspections and excess emissions reports the companies filed during their two months of operations offshore Alaska during an abbreviated 2012 drilling season, EPA said.

EPA issued a compliance order to Shell Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 7, 2012, setting higher temporary limits for some pollutants than allowed under the original permit. It withdrew that order on Jan. 10 when it issued violation notices to the two Shell subsidiaries.

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