Kayakers protesting the arrival of Shell's Polar Pioneer rig in Port Angeles in April
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Kayakers protesting the arrival of Shell's Polar Pioneer rig in Port Angeles in April
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Environmentalists Appeal To Stop Shell's Return To Seattle

Environment groups have another opportunity to stop a Shell Oil rig from returning to Seattle.

They are appealing a Superior Court decision from earlier this summer that the Port of Seattle could host Shell's Arctic drilling fleet without conducting an environmental review.

The appeal argues that the port did need to conduct that environmental review. And it says that should be enough to strike down the lease involving Shell.

The groups also want to say in court what they argued in front of a city hearing examiner this week: that turning Terminal 5 into a home port for drilling rigs is not the same thing as running a container terminal.

That argument mirrors what the city of Seattle has been saying.

It told the port the oil rigs needed a fresh permit for the new use, or they needed to leave.

The port is fighting back.

And for all these players it's a race against time. Shell's drilling fleet is expected back in Seattle sometime in October.