Judge endorses water permit for refinery near national park
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An administrative law judge in North Dakota is recommending that state officials issue a water permit for an oil refinery being developed near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Area landowners had challenged a proposed permit that would allow the Davis Refinery to draw water from an underwater aquifer. Administrative Law Judge Tim Dawson held a hearing in November. On Tuesday he recommended the permit be granted.
State Engineer Garland Erbele has the final say. Landowners can appeal his decision to state district court.
Refinery developer Meridian Energy Group issued a statement Thursday applauding the decision.
Meridian is developing the refinery just 3 miles from North Dakota’s top tourist attraction. It still needs a wastewater permit, and its state air quality permit is being challenged in court by environmental groups.