Press Release Feb 8, 2017

Refinery Threatens Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Requested water use would harm park, visitor experience

Medora, ND – Meridian Energy Group, Inc. is one step closer to building a 55,000 barrel-per-day crude oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park with today’s meeting to discuss the refinery’s requested water permit.

The State of North Dakota is reviewing Meridian Energy Group’s water permit request for the oil refinery proposal. Meridian stated publicly that the proposed facility could use “up to 100 gallons” of water per minute. However, the application submitted to the North Dakota Water Commission is for more than four times the original publicly stated projected water use.

Meridian has not yet determined whether it will use a dry or wet cooling system or a combination of both in the structural design of the facility. If they use a wet system, it may produce a large, visible plume of steam within view of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Below is a statement by National Parks Conservation Association’s North Dakota Consultant Valerie Naylor, former Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park:

“As the former Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, my interest in protecting this stunning landscape is personal. Yet, the threat should feel personal to all of us, as these incredible public lands belong to and are protected for all Americans.

“The State of North Dakota is reviewing a water permit for the oil refinery proposed near the park’s southeastern border. The sheer scope of the project is troubling, including the potential for the refinery to use four times as much water as initially proposed. Steam and pollutant emissions from the refinery would compromise the visitor experience and is not appropriate at this location. Today’s public meeting confirmed that there are still many unanswered questions about this project.

“To put an oil refinery within view of the park would be a betrayal of the conservation values of the park’s namesake. An oil refinery has no business at the doorstep of a national park. We wouldn’t allow an oil refinery to be built within view of Yellowstone or Yosemite, and it should be no different for Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There is plenty of space for economic growth in North Dakota, and it does not have to come at the cost of one of America’s most special places. If the state has any interest in protecting this important national treasure, which injects tens of millions of dollars into the local economy, it should reject this permit. ”

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