9th Circ. Says Shell Project Doesn't Need Air Quality Review

Law360, Los Angeles (August 15, 2013, 6:48 PM ET) -- The Ninth Circuit dealt environmental groups a blow Thursday when it backed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's conclusion that Shell Offshore Inc. didn't have to analyze an exploratory oil drilling project's potential impact on air quality before obtaining a permit.

The appeals court held that the Clean Air Act is ambiguous as to whether its requirements on the maximum allowable increase in pollutant concentrations for a given area — referred to as an increment — are applicable to a temporary source like Shell's Kulluk drill vessel off Alaska's...
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