Judge will review complaint over refinery near national park

September 07, 2018 - 9:49 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are enlisting an administrative law judge to help untangle some of the legal questions surrounding whether an oil refinery can be built near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The judge will make a non-binding recommendation to the Public Service Commission on whether a complaint over the $800 million Davis Refinery should be dismissed.

Meridian Energy Group plans to build the refinery 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the park. Two environmental groups maintain that Meridian needs state approval for the site. Meridian disputes that.

The PSC wants input on the complex legal issues from the judge. The commission will then decide whether the complaint goes forward. If it does, the next decision would be whether Meridian needs to seek a state permit, a process that can take months.