ANCHORAGE - Opponents of Shell Oil's plans to drill exploration wells in the Arctic rallied at the Anchorage federal building Monday.
Shell is trying to get the Environmental Protection Agency to change some of its air quality permits for planned drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas this summer.
Opponents of the effort have waged a five-year campaign to shut down the drilling, and today asked the EPA to put an end to Shell's offshore Alaska plans.
The air permit in question is for several generators on the drill ship Noble Discoverer.
Shell claims the new emissions standards for the generators are beyond what today's technology can provide.
A spokesperson said Monday the company expects the EPA to grant its request.
"We worked with the EPA very closely on this proposed revision to our permits, we used ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and multiple filters on these particular engines that actually decreased their emissions by 90-percent," said Shell’s Curtis Smith.
Shell says even if the standards are lowered for the ship’s generators, the entire project will still come in under the emissions limit set by the EPA.
No word yet when a decision will be made, but Shell says it fully expects to drill this summer.