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Responding to critics, Shell has said that if necessary it's prepared to deploy "the most robust Arctic oil spill re sponse system known to industry." The company has said its oil spill response capability exceeds its "calculated worst case discharge volume" for the wells proposed.
The company would have a narrow window in which to work, with July October seen as the open water drilling season. Smith said typically such permits have fallen in line after a development plan is approved. But he said air quality permits are somewhat different, in that they can be appealed by anyone who commented on them, and hold things up.
The Environmental Protection Agency has released for public review draft air quality permits for Shell projects in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. BOEMRE hasn't yet issued a decision on Shell's development plan for Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Premium Ht
BOEMRE, in evaluating various aspects of Shell's plan, said in its Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Air Max decision that while "large and very large oil spills could result in impacts that would rise to the level of significance, the probability of such an occurrence is so low," that letting the plan move forward "will not result in a foreseeable significant impact" on air and water quality, biological resources and such things as subsistence activities and public health.
But conservationists said they do not believe the technology or infrastructure exists _ in the case of Shell or any other company _ to sufficiently respond to a spill in the Arctic.
Fed agency approve Shell drilling plan for Arctic
He also said the company would "employ world class Nike Janoski Max Womens
Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the nearest Coast Guard station is more than 1,000 miles from where Shell plans to drill. She said the agency's decision flies Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Hyperfeel Xt
technology and experience to ensure a safe, environmen tally responsible Arctic exploration program, one that has the smallest possible footprint on the environment and no negative impact on North Slope or Northwest Arctic traditional subsistence hunting activities."
Smith said Shell is committed to building an oil spill capping system that would capture hydrocarbons at the source "in the extremely unlikely event of a shallow water blowout." He said a drill bit "will not touch the floor, will not touch the surface" until the capping and containment system is in place.
Robert Thompson, chairman of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, said he has no faith in the company's oil spill response capabilities. Thompson said oil spill training was once moved from near Kaktovik, the coastal community where he lives, because of high waves. He called BOEMRE's decision distressing.
"This Administration is as willing as ever to rubber stamp dangerous drilling plans in the Arctic Ocean," she said.
in the face of "promises of reform" made by the administration after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ A federal agency's decision allowing Shell Oil Co. to move a step closer to drilling in Arctic waters off Alaska has drawn criticism from conservationists, expressing concern over how any potential oil spill would be handled. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation, or BOEMRE, gave its conditional approval Thursday to a plan that could see Shell drilling in the Beaufort Sea as early as next year.
Michael Bromwich, BOEMRE's director, said the agency bases it decisions surrounding energy exploration and development in the Arctic on the best scientific information available.
A Shell spokeswoman, Kelly op de Weegh, said the agency's decision added to the company's cautious optimism that it will be drilling on its Alaska leases this time next year. Op de Weegh said the company expects to submit for approval its applications to drill sometime in 2012.
BOEMRE hasn't yet fully signed off on Shell's oil spill response plan though a company spokesman, Curtis Smith, said conditional approval is expected as early as next week.
the Chukchi. Shell is eyeing 2012 for work in the Chukchi, as well.
"We will closely review and monitor Shell's proposed activities to ensure that any activities that take place under this plan will be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner," he said.
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