Press Release Mar 27, 2019

Parks Group Continues to Fight for Clean Air at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

NPCA refuses to let polluters win near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

Medora, ND – Defending the air around Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) filed an appeal today with the state of North Dakota. The appeal responds to a recent decision by the North Dakota Stark County District Court to uphold an air permit issued to the proposed Meridian Energy Group refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which would produce tens of thousands of barrels of oil each day.

Earlier this year, a North Dakota district court ruled in favor of the industrial refinery, determining that the state’s issuance of a “minor” air quality permit, based on estimated pollutant analysis provided by Meridian Energy Group, was appropriate. However, independent analysis has shown that Meridian significantly underestimated or omitted emissions in its application to the state. Unlike the “major” source permit, the “minor” air quality permit issued by the state does not require a rigorous assessment of pollution impacts as well as strong pollution controls. The appeal requests that the state rescind its previous decision and begin the “major” permitting review process for the proposed refinery, located less than 3 miles from the doorsteps of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

“With the decision to appeal, NPCA is fighting to protect the park that has inspired generations of conservationists,” said Stephanie Kodish, Clean Air Program Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “The previous ruling was unacceptable as it fails to address serious shortcomings in the refinery’s air permit. “We believe that the permit issued to the refinery would lead to unchecked hazardous air pollution that would threaten air quality in nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park.”

NPCA is represented in this case by Braaten Law Firm, based in Bismarck, ND.

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About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org/100.