July 7, 2012

Refinery clears regulatory hurdle

Refinery clears regulatory hurdle
By Jerry W. Kram

The Clean Fuels Refinery is one step closer to reality after the Environmental Protection Agency gave final approval to the project’s water discharge permit. The Three Affiliated Tribes’ energy company, Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc., started the permitting process for the project in 2002.
“The Environmental Appeals Board ruled in our favor on the permit,” said Richard Mayer, CEO of Thunder Butte. “It means that all our environmental permitting processes are complete. That’s really good news for our potential financial backers. The development project has a green light as a whole. We’re all very happy over here.”
Tribal Chairman Tex Hall applauded the decision. He said the permitting process was delayed because the raw material source was changed from Canadian tar sands oil to Bakken crude oil. That change meant the projects permit had to be reevaluated by the EPA.
“It is indeed historic since this is the first refinery built in the lower 48 states in 41 years,” Hall said. “The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation have waited nine long years for this. We never gave up, although we experienced a few bumps along the way.”


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