Judge’s ruling may remove roadblock to oil refinery

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota judge has finalized his recent conclusion that state regulators don’t have a say in the site of an $800 million oil refinery being developed near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, potentially removing a roadblock to the project.

Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ward in a nonbinding recommendation last month said the Davis Refinery being developed by Meridian Energy Group won’t have a large enough capacity to fall under jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center and Dakota Resource Council dispute that. They say the project’s Health Department permit is for a facility big enough to warrant review.

Ward says that doesn’t matter, because the company CEO has sworn in an affidavit that the refinery will have a smaller capacity than listed in the permit.

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