Saturday, January 28, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Refinery Near National Park Poses Many Hazards, Groups Say

Play

Friday, December 29, 2017   

BELFIELD, N.D. – Opposition from local communities is growing against a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The Davis Refinery, from California-based Meridian Energy Group, is awaiting air quality and water permits to start construction of its facility near Belfield. Groups such as the Badlands Area Resource Council (BARC), an affiliate of the Dakota Resource Council, say it will hurt their community members in the backyard of this refinery.

Laura Grzanic, a member of BARC, lives a mile from the proposed site.

"The heavy traffic, in combination with other projects going on, is going to create a lot of traffic hazards," she says. "The area does not have any traffic lights, traffic signs, turning lanes. It's just going to be rather hectic for the locals to commute back and forth to work."

Grzanic has a water well for livestock and is concerned the refinery could impact the aquifer she draws from. The head of Meridian says it aims to build the "cleanest refinery in the world," although conservation groups are skeptical of this claim.

The public comment period on the state Department of Health's draft air pollution permit for the refinery is open through Jan. 26, 2018.

The scope of the refinery has changed several times over the past year. First proposed to process 55,000 oil barrels per day, Meridian changed the figure to 49,500 to skirt regulations from the Public Service Commission, which conducts reviews of facilities that process 50,000 barrels or more.

Commissioners have urged Meridian to submit to a review anyway, saying that without one, legal hurdles could take longer to clear. Grzanic says Meridian has increased its estimates for traffic on its permits too, from 80 trucks per day to 170.

"I'm just very skeptical of the changing of numbers," she adds. "I feel like I'm in a bait-and-switch type of game, where it was presented to the county one way and now it's being presented to the state in another way."

Groups such as the National Parks Conservation Association also say it will hurt Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota's only national park. The refinery will be within three miles of it.

Linda Weiss, a BARC member and Belfield resident, says officials should consider the long-term effects on the local landscape.

"Who gets left if things do not work out or when the life of the production is over?" she queries. "Who gets left with that? What kind of bonding do we have? Generally, North Dakotans end up having to pay some of those costs."


get more stories like this via email

New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021