Environmental groups file motion with PSC in complaint with Davis Refinery

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An administrative judge recently recommended to the North Dakota Public Service Commission to dismiss a complaint filed against the Davis Refinery, but it looks like a decision won’t be made by the commission anytime soon. 

The Dakota Resource Council and Environmental Law and Policy Center  recently filed a motion to reopen and supplement the complaint against Meridian.

The motion argues that the energy group has not, “. . . submitted information or documentation to
the North Dakota Department of Health regarding its alleged plan to build a 49,500 barrel per day refinery instead of the 55,000 bpd refinery for which it received its existing air permit”. 

On June 13 – after an 18 month review, Median received an air quality to construct from the NDDoH for 55,000 bpd refinery in Belfield, ND which will be about three miles away from Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Since receiving the permit Meridian has started site construction in the area with local subcontractors, Martin Construction of Dickinson and ABC Fencing of Belfield.

In June , the opposition filed a complaint with the PSC stating that Meridian needs to file an application with the PSC for a siting permit., because refineries that process at least 50,000 bpd are required to. 

Despite Meridian’s numerous statements that the refinery will only have the capacity to process 49,500 bpd, the environmental groups feel the PSC has jurisdiction on the project due to the permit they received from the NDDoH. 

Earlier this month an administrative judge, Patrick J. Ward, recommended to the PSC to dismiss the complaint stating, “the facility now being constructed by Meridian is not within the jurisdictional authority of the PSC”. 

In an affidavit submitted to the PSC before ruling by the judge, the Meridian Energy Group CEO William Prentice stated,” Meridian has no current plans for any addition to or expansion of the Davis Refinery beyond the capacity of 49,500 bpd”.

In a phone interview Prentice also said, “If the opposition to the refinery was there because they wanted to make sure that we were doing a good job then they have accomplished their goal. This project has been subjected to intense scrutiny”. 

PSC Chairman Randy Christmann said the commission does not have a deadline for when they will make a decision on the complaint, based on the oppositions recent motion. 

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