The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled with Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc and Shell Offshore Inc. over violations of the Clean Air Act. The violations were tied to oil and gas exploration drilling off the Alaska’s North Slope.

The EPA said inspections showed excess emissions for Shell’s Discoverer and Kulluk drill ship fleets’ air permits. The violations date to the 2012 drilling season. Shell, in the settlement, agreed to pay $710,000 for Discoverer violations and $390,000 for Kulluk violations.

Shell’s work in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas during that season was governed by an EPA Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf permit issued in early 2012. That permit governs emissions and pollutions controls, and sets up requirements for monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting.

EPA issued violation notices early this year for the air permits. Shell announced early this year that it would pause its Alaska drilling for 2013.

“We’ve made progress in Alaska, but this is a long-term program that we are pursuing in a safe and measured way,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum. “Our decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people following the drilling season in 2012.”

Shell remains committed to building an Arctic exploration program that provides confidence to stakeholders and regulators, and meets the high standards the company applies to its operations around the world.”

 Shell finished top-hole drilling on two wells in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas in 2012, a project the company reiterates was done safely and without injuries or environmental impact.