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Washington’s King County denied a waste disposal permit for Shell’s drilling fleet on Wednesday, the latest attempt by government officials to keep the company from basing its Arctic oil drilling operations in the Port of Seattle.

County executives denied Shell a wastewater disposal permit on what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported were “non-policy grounds,” arguing that “we need to invigorate the promise of a clean-energy future and make King County the regional catalyst for carbon reduction, renewable energy and a new innovation economy.”

{mosads}The federal government approved Shell’s plan to drill for oil and natural gas in the Arctic north of Alaska on May 11. Shell signed a deal with a Seattle company to use the port as a home base for its drilling fleet, but local officials have tried to stop that from happening.

Last week, the state’s Department of Natural Resources sent Shell a letter telling it that mooring its drilling fleet in the port might violate the state’s constitution, according to the Post-Intelligencer.

Earlier this month, the Seattle city government ruled that the port didn’t have the permits needed to host the fleet. The Port of Seattle and the company hosting Shell have appealed the decision, and a host of environmental groups protesting Shell’s use of the port have lined up to back the city.

One of Shell’s two Arctic rigs is already docked at the port, and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker toured it on Wednesday. A second rig could come to Seattle soon before Shell embarks for the Arctic. 

Tags Arctic drilling Royal Dutch Shell Seattle Washington
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