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Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court against Port of Seattle

By Anastasia Stepankowsky

A coalition of environmental groups has sued the Port of Seattle to block it from leasing 50 acres to Foss Maritime to homeport Shell’s Arctic oil drilling fleet.

The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council and the Seattle Audubon Society sued Monday in King County Superior Court, alleging violations of the State Environmental Policy Act and Shoreline Management Act. They allege the project would damage water quality.

The lease, which the Port approved in February, is expected to generate $13.7 million in revenue for the Port. Foss would use the area to service Shell’s Arctic fleet.

The Port sees a deal with Foss Maritime as an opportunity to modernize its empty Terminal 5, thus reducing taxpayer support for the area and creating a significant number of maritime jobs. Port officials have said they’re spending $2 million a year just to keep up the area now.

The environmental groups said the Port failed to provide adequate information about the deal with Foss.

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