Flawed Air Permit Issued for Proposed Refinery Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

June 13, 2018

Flawed Air Permit Issued for Proposed Refinery Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Medora, ND – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) today issued a permit
allowing construction of Meridian Energy Group’s proposed Davis Refinery to move forward,
risking harm to nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park. More than 11,000 people wrote to the
agency about the refinery, the majority raising concerns against the proposal. National Parks
Conservation Association, the Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Dakota Resource
Council called the health department’s action a failure to protect Theodore Roosevelt National

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of air pollution from the proposed refinery on
Theodore Roosevelt National Park,” said Stephanie Kodish, Clean Air Program Director for the
National Parks Conservation Association. “The park’s air quality is already hurt by pollution,
limiting views, damaging ecosystems and making the air less healthy for visitors to breathe. The
question is not whether this new source of pollution will do additional harm to the park – but
rather how much.”

The Permit to Construct classifies the industrial refinery as a “minor” rather than “major” source
of pollution, allowing it to bypass requirements to evaluate and use the best emission control

“The Clean Air Act has strict requirements for large new sources of pollution,” said Scott Strand,
Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “The law requires the states to make
sure that facilities with significant potential to pollute our air will have the best available
pollution control technology in place. Unfortunately, the state appears to be willing to let
Meridian get by with its bland assurances that its emission controls will be good enough to meet
the law’s requirements.”

The permit comes amid controversy over Meridian’s refusal to undergo siting review with the
state’s Public Service Commission, which is required for refineries over 50,000 barrels per day.
The NDDoH permit sanctions up to 55,000 barrels per day at the refinery.

The failure of the NDDoH to hold Meridian accountable for the company’s stated goal of 55,000
bpd means the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s responsibilities become even more
critical. Local members of Badlands Area Resource Council (BARC), an affiliate of DRC, are now
asking the PSC to protect their land, water, air, and quality of life by requiring Meridian to apply

for a siting permit. Most BARC members live close to the proposed site. Linda Weiss, Chair of
BARC said, “The placement of this refinery next to a Class I Airshed not only destroys the air
quality today but will continue to destroy air quality for years to come. The cumulative air
pollution from the many facilities in the industrial area will jeopardize health and safety of
people who live here.”

The groups are carefully evaluating the permit to determine their next steps.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park stands as a testament to America’s conservation legacy and
the very president who helped shape it. The park welcomed more than 700,000 visitors in 2017
who spent over $47 million in nearby communities, supporting over 550 local jobs.

Kati Schmidt, Director of Communications, National Parks Conservation Association
P: 415-847-1768 | kschmidt@npca.org

Judith Nemes, Media Relations Specialist, Environmental Law & Policy Center
P: 312-795-3706 | jnemes@elpc.org

Liz Anderson, Field Organizer, Dakota Resource Council
P: 701-516-2456 | Liz@drcinfo.com

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