Conservation groups sue US govt over Arctic spill plans
Junea: A coalition of conservation groups sued the US government today over its approval of oil spill response plans for an Arctic Ocean drilling program.
The lawsuit does not seek to block Shell Oil from beginning to drill this summer as planned, and an attorney for Oceana, one of the groups suing, said it`s unlikely the case will be resolved in a timeframe that could affect drilling this year.
However, the case could prevent drilling in future seasons, if the coalition succeeds in getting the approvals set aside, attorney Michael LeVine said.
The lawsuit alleges the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and US Interior Department officials violated environmental law, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act in approving spill plans for the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
In a statement ahead of the lawsuit`s filing, the groups said the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement "rubber-stamped" oil spill response plans "that rely on unbelievable assumptions, include equipment that has never been tested in Arctic conditions, and ignore the very real possibility that a spill could continue through the winter."
A Shell Alaska spokesman, Curtis Smith, said the company remains confident that the process the U.S. Government followed in approving its spill plans was thorough "and will easily withstand legal review." An Interior Department spokesman declined to comment.
Shell is not named as a party in the case. Groups in the coalition include the Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace Inc., National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, Pacific Environment, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands and the Sierra Club.
LeVine said the coalition`s work has been geared toward protecting the Arctic Ocean, not stopping Shell, and it wants to make sure the government upholds the law when approving oil spill response plans because more drilling proposals are expected.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Security guard beats woman journalist publicly in Pakistan
- Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K's Hiranagar; 7 Pak Rangers killed, BSF jawan injured
- ISIS terrorists escape Mosul disguised in women's clothing
- J&K: Suspected Pakistani spy arrested in Samba district
- DNA: Reporting on war against ISIS in Mosul
- MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli? Here's Virender Sehwag's best ever reply
- Hema Malini did not accept land for dance academy: Government to HC
- Seven Pak rangers, one militant killed in retaliatory firing by BSF on Jammu border
- LIVE Cricket Score, IND vs NZ, 3rd ODI: Chasing 286-run target, India lose Rahane and Rohit early
- Samajwadi Party feud LIVE: Mulayam sacks Ram Gopal Yadav from party for six years; Shivpal says he is corrupt, involved with BJP