The legal challenges continue for an oil refinery set to be built next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
State health officials granted Meridian energy group an air quality permit last June that they need to develop the Davis Refinery.
A consultant for the National Parks Conservation Association told KX News, she is concerned about its proximity to the park.
The consultant, Connie Triplett says because of its proposed location, the refinery is subject to the highest air quality standards: Class one. But, Triplett says the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality issued the permit with lower standards, as if it were a minor source of pollution.
She says the National Parks Conservation Association recently sued the state department, because they believe the refinery should have been evaluated as a major source of air pollution.
Triplett explains, “People come to national parks for a variety of reasons. But one is to see clearly the vistas off in the distance, without seeing it through a haze. And so air quality is important, it’s been a standard set by Congress, actually since the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act.”
Recently, the Southwest District Court, in Dickinson, sided with the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. The Conservation Association now has a pending appeal with the North Dakota Supreme Court.