Courtesy of Bismarck Tribune
Two judges sided with Meridian Energy this week on legal challenges related to the Davis Refinery being built near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
South Central Judicial District Judge Bruce Haskell dismissed a claim Tuesday from the Dakota Resource Council, which challenged Meridian Energy’s zoning permit from Billings County.
The environmental group alleged the conditional use permit granted in July 2016 is no longer valid because the company did not construct or begin operating the refinery within a year. The complaint cites Billings County zoning ordinances that require a conditional use to be instituted within a year of the permit’s approval.
Meridian attorneys argued the county’s intent was for the one-year timeframe to begin after Meridian received a permit to construct from the North Dakota Department of Health Division of Air Quality, which was granted in June 2018.
Haskell ruled after hearing arguments from both sides on Tuesday that Meridian made the more persuasive argument, finding that the conditional use permit is valid. Haskell said deference to the county commission factored into his decision.
Read more on complaint dismissals here (www.bismarcktribune.com)