Update on DRCs Lawsuit to Protect Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Just as with Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the fight to relocate Meridian Energy Group, Inc.’s Davis Refinery are much exaggerated.

More than two years into the campaign, Dakota Resource Council’s (DRC) affiliate, Badlands Area Resource Council is still working diligently to keep an oil refinery from being built 3 miles from North Dakota’s beautiful Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP), North Dakota’s only national park. As always, DRC is working for the responsible development of North Dakota’s resources, and building a refinery so close to a national park is anything but responsible.

Though some permits have been granted, DRC and its allies have appealed the North Dakota Department of Health’s granting of Meridian’s Air Permit to Construct. DRC is contesting the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to not require the Davis Refinery to go through the siting permit process. This is despite the fact the company has an air quality permit with the North Dakota Department of Health that allows for 55,000 barrels of oil per day. Public Service Commission requires refineries that have a capacity of 50,000 or more barrels per day to go through the PSC’s siting permit process. We contend that the company is proposing to build a facility that produces more than 50,000 barrels per day, therefore, they must go through the required PSC siting permit process.

On December 14, DRC members and staff attended an adjudicative hearing at the State Water Commission to challenge the Davis Refinery’s water appropriation. We are waiting on a decision from Judge Dawson on the Davis Refinery’s water appropriation permit.

Plans are in the works to get more nationwide attention on this proposed refinery. If this refinery is allowed to be built 3 miles from this national park, which is a Clean Air Act designated Class 1 Airshed, it sets a terrible precedent and puts other national parks at risk for industrialization and the resulting pollution. Who among us thinks that an oil refinery should be three miles from Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, or any national park or wild place?

Want to help?

  • If you’re not a member, please join DRC.  If you are a member, thank you!

Member or not, here are several things you can do to help DRC in this campaign:

  • Write a letter to the editor sharing your love and appreciation for TRNP.
  • Attend a hearing or a meeting – DRC members get Action Alerts so you’ll know when and where
  • Donate money
  • Contact your legislators or permitting agencies so they know people care about the decisions they make


Attend the oral arguments for the air permit December 12 at the courthouse in Dickinson, 51 3rd St. E., at 1:30 MST.

We’re not asking anything more than for you to come help fill the room.

Everything helps and this refinery is far, far from a done deal so please take action. You can and are making a difference in our community!

If you have any questions, call the DRC office at 701-224-8587 or email  liz@drcinfo.com

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