David Glatt, Section Chief of the North Dakota Department of Health, Environmental Health Section, on the Davis Permit Process:
“The State of North Dakota is committed to the health and economic welfare of its citizens. The North Dakota Department of Health Environmental Health Section is charged with making sure that projects such as Meridian Energy Group’s Davis Refinery meet stringent federal and state air quality emissions requirements. The proposed Davis Refinery air quality application is a top priority and the Department will work with Meridian through the application review process to ensure that the Davis Refinery meets federal and state air quality requirements.”
Davis Refinery Permitting Overview
- Rezoning and Conditional Use Permits granted by Billings County in July 2016
- Water Appropriation Permit to State Engineer – Draft Permit granted in July 2017; Final approval expected in early 2018
- Permit to Construct (Air) – From ND Department of Health – Draft Permit Issued December 5th 2017. 45-Day Public Comment Period concluded January 26th, 2018
- Permit to Operate (Air) to be filed upon completion of initial phase of Davis
- Industrial Storm Water Discharge Permit – to be submitted in late summer/early fall 2017
Siting and Permitting
The issue of siting of the Davis Refinery was resolved by the Billings County Board of Commissioners on July 6th, 2016 when they approved Meridian’s Rezoning and Conditional Use Permit application. Meridian’s application for Rezoning and for a Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”) was submitted to Billings County early in 2016, and the Billings County Zoning and Planning Board unanimously recommended that the CUP be granted. On July 6th, 2016, the full Billings County Board of Commissioners approved the Company’s CUP application by a unanimous vote. The community supports this location, and the logistics of crude supply and product sales support this location. As required under the CUP, Meridian is making it certain the Davis Refinery design meets all other permitting requirements, including those relating to obtaining the PTC as a Minor Source.
Note that a major concern of officials from the local Theodore Roosevelt National Park (the “Park”) was that Davis would impinge on the Park view shed. Through both engineering line-of-sight analysis and a demonstration involving large kites precisely located by surveyors, Meridian proved that Davis will not be visible from the Park, even from the highest elevation within the Park – Buck Hill. Through the use of air coolers instead of cooling towers the potential for visual impact from cooling tower condensation has been substantially eliminated, and a large agricultural and natural buffer around the Refinery will limit its visual impact from local communities and highways.
The other major permit to be obtained prior to field construction is the Permit to Construct (“PTC”) to be granted by the Air Quality Division of the North Dakota Department of Health (“NDDoH”). The PTC application was submitted to NDDoH by Meridian on October 17th, 2016, and an amendment to the application was submitted on April 5th, 2017, which documentation demonstrates that the Davis Refinery qualifies as a Synthetic Minor Source. On December 6th, 2017, the NDDoH issued its draft of the PTC for Davis, beginning a 45-day public comment period that will end on January 26th, 2018, and Company believes that the final PTC will be issued shortly thereafter.