Dispute over refinery near national park heats up in court

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Parties involved in a dispute over whether North Dakota regulators should be involved in the siting of an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park are battling in state court.

The dispute is over whether state regulators should have reviewed the site of the $800 million Davis Refinery being built just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the park.

The Public Service Commission last year declined to review the site, concluding the refinery will be too small to warrant review under state law.

Environmental groups that don’t believe developer Meridian Energy is being forthright about the refinery’s size want a state judge to order a commission hearing.

Meridian maintains the groups are on a “fishing expedition.” The commission also argues against a hearing, saying it must take Meridian at its word.

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