June 13, 2018
Dakota Resource Council Takes Meridian to Court Over Planned Construction Without Valid Conditional Use Permit
Today, Dakota Resource Council filed a complaint with the state District Court alleging
that Meridian Energy Group, Inc. plans to illegally construct its Davis Refinery.
DRC’s complaint alleges that Meridian does not have a Conditional Use Permit because
the Billings County permit that was issued expired over a year ago. The permit was
approved July 26, 2016 and expired on July 26, 2017. DRC’s complaint also alleges that
the plans for the refinery have significantly changed and the company failed to apply for
a new permit under the new, revised plans.
DRC members are concerned that the Commissioners have not followed up with
Meridian on their permit and that Meridian is evading County review that is intended to
protect the public’s health and safety.
Emanuel Culman from Beach wondered if it’s hard to tell your friends no: “Perhaps the
bells, whistles, and dollar signs make up for the fact that the refinery plans, size,
projected emissions, and production levels have changed significantly?”
Meridian’s plans are all the more concerning given that it just received a Permit to
Construct from the Department of Health and has said that it plans to begin construction
soon, without acknowledging that further review by Billings County is required.
Meridian has repeatedly changed its story about the Davis Refinery presenting different
sets of facts to different permitting agencies. For example, Meridian stated an output of
49,500bpd to the Public Service Commission, evading a siting permit by 500bpd, while
asking the Health Department for permission to construct a 55,000bpd facility. It is no
surprise that the company is again trying to skirt the law.
The complaint was filed June 11, 2018 with District Court in Bismarck.
DAKOTA RESOURCE COUNCIL – SINCE 1978
Written By – Liz Anderson, Field Organizer/Badlands Area Resource Council