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Groups File Legal Challenge to Shell Chukchi Drilling

Alaska Natives, environmental groups file legal challenge to Chukchi offshore drilling

By MARY PEMBERTON Associated Press Writer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska January 20, 2010 (AP)

A coalition of Alaska Natives has combined forces with some of the heaviest hitters in the environmental community to challenge a plan by Shell to drill for oil off northwest Alaska.

The legal challenge to Shell’s approved drilling plan for the Chukchi Sea was filed Wednesday in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The groups say the plan approved by the Minerals Management Service does not comply with federal environmental laws. And they say the plan was approved without evaluating the potential impact of a major oil spill in the Chukchi Sea.

The MMS has approved a Shell drilling plan for up to three exploratory wells in the Chukchi next summer.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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