The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. and Shell Offshore, Inc. have agreed to pay a total of $1.1 million in fines to settle claims that they violated their Clean Air Act permits while drilling in the Arctic in 2012.
The agency said in a statement that Shell had violated its Clean Air Act permits while drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, off the North Slope of Alaska, over a period of two months. The EPA stated that multiple violations of the Act were recorded for Shell's Discoverer and Kulluk drill ship fleets. The alleged violations were discovered following inspections by EPA officials and thanks to data submitted by Shell in its excess emission reports.
Under the terms of the agreement Shell will have to pay a $710,000 fine for violations related to the Discoverer's air permit and a further $390,000 penalty for violations associated with the Kulluk activities.
The agency said that Shell was formally notified of the issues regarding the Clean Air Act permit violations in January 2013. Shell's Outer Continental Shelf permits were issued at the start of 2012 and set a number of limits regarding emissions, pollution control and monitoring, as well as reporting requirements on vessels, support fleets, spill response vessels and supply ships, the EPA said.