Judge upholds permit for oil refinery near national park

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge has upheld a state permit allowing for construction to begin on an oil refinery just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Judge Dann Greenwood ruled the Health Department effectively supported its position that the $800 million Davis Refinery being developed by Meridian Energy Group won’t be a major pollution source.

The National Parks Conservation Association, Environmental Law and Policy Center and Dakota Resource Council had challenged the state air quality permit. They issued a statement saying the judge’s ruling “gives a green light” for pollution at the park, and that they’ll explore all their options. That could include an appeal.

Two of the groups also are challenging a separate decision by other state regulators not to review whether the refinery site is appropriate.

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