The protests are over for now, but the bureaucratic and legal fight over Shell drilling rigs mooring at the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 is not. The latest move, five days after the arrival of the Polar Pioneer drilling platform, is in the document above that we just obtained from the city Department of Planning and Development – its “notice of violation” issued to the Port of Seattle, interim leaseholder Foss Maritime, and “occupant” Shell Oil, contending that the current “use (is) not established by permit.” The notice gives the entities until June 4th to correct the alleged violation by either moving the Polar Pioneer and the Shell icecutter/tug Aiviq from T-5, or get a new permit allowing them.
(Friday photo by Paul Weatherman: Aiviq and Polar Pioneer @ T-5)
You’ll recall that this started with a city “interpretation” saying that the established permitted use of Terminal 5 does not allow for this; both the Port and Foss have filed appeals to that contention – the one filed at the end of last week by the Port calls it “irrational” and suggests that, taken to its logical conclusion, it would bar a variety of other types of vessels from using Port docks. (No date yet on the Hearing Examiner’s calendar for the appeal hearing.) We’ll be seeking comment from all three recipients.