Shell Discoverer Air Permit - Beaufort Sea | Region 10 | US EPA

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Shell Discoverer Air Permit - Beaufort Sea

What is the Outer Continental Shelf?

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) refers to federal submerged lands that lie seaward of the states' jurisdiction (generally three nautical miles from the shoreline).

Shell Discoverer Beaufort Sea Air Permits Expires

Shell did not use the Discoverer drillship in the Beaufort Sea during the 2012 drilling season. They also did not start construction of the Discoverer Beaufort OCS source within the 18-month period required by the permit. As a result, the Shell Discoverer Beaufort OCS air permit expired in July 2013.

Final Shell Discoverer Air Permits

We approved a final Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit issued to Shell Offshore Inc. for the Discoverer drillship operations on January 27, 2012, and the permit became effective on that date. The permit allows air pollution emissions from oil and gas exploration drilling by the Discoverer drillship and a support fleet of icebreakers, oil-spill-response vessels, and supply ships in the Beaufort Sea. We published a public notice of the approved final permit in the Federal Register (PDF) (2 pp, 164K) on Feb. 10, 2012. The U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit is reviewing petitions on the Shell Discoverer air permits Exit EPA Disclaimer.

In December 2011, Congress moved the air permitting authority for Arctic offshore exploration from us to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation & Enforcement, but allowed us to continue processing pending air permits.

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