Judge: No site permit needed for refinery near national park

Associated Press |

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state judge has ruled that North Dakota regulators properly refrained from becoming involved in a dispute over the location of an $800 million oil refinery being developed near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The Public Service Commission last year declined to review whether the Davis Refinery could be built just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the park, concluding its production capacity will be too small to warrant review under state law.

Environmental groups don't believe developer Meridian Energy is being forthright about the refinery's capacity. But Judge Bruce Romanick (ruh-MAH'-nihk) sided with the PSC, ruling the agency properly followed the law.

The national park is North Dakota's top tourist attraction. Environmental groups worry the refinery will pollute it. Meridian says the facility will be the "cleanest refinery on the planet."

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