Proposed refinery gets key permit from EPA

NEW TOWN, N.D. — Sen. John Hoeven says the Environmental Protection Agency has approved a key permit for a proposed oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Officials say the permit allows for the discharging of treated wastewater from the refining process.

The Three Affiliated Tribes has been planning the refinery for years. Hoeven’s office says the tribe might still need other permits but that the wastewater permit is “a significant milestone.”

Tribal Chairman Tex Hall tells the Grand Forks Herald that refinery construction has already started and could be completed as early as 2013.

Hall says the refinery near Makoti would process oil from the Bakken Formation in western North Dakota. It would create an estimated 65 permanent jobs. Some tribal members have urged the tribe to delve into wind power instead.