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Construction to begin on Belfield refinery in western North Dakota

Terry O'Clair, left, Dave Glatt and James Semerad, of the North Dakota Department of Health, listen to testimony for an air permit to construct during a public hearing at Dickinson State University in January on the proposed Davis Refinery west of Belfield. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK—Meridian Energy Group announced Tuesday, July 17, it is starting site construction for the Davis Refinery near Belfield, a project that still faces legal challenges.

SEH DesignBuild, which has an office in Bismarck, has been hired to lead civil construction of the site with subcontractors from the local area, according to a Meridian statement. Initial construction activities will include installing erosion control devices, stormwater pond development and other site grading.

The project received a permit to construction from the North Dakota Department of Health Air Quality Division about a month ago.

Three conservation groups that oppose the refinery's location about 3 miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park have filed an appeal to the health department's permit.

Terry O'Clair, director of the Air Quality Division, has said the appeal does not prevent the company from proceeding with construction, but the company would be moving ahead at its own risk.

In addition, a complaint filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission seeks to halt construction of the refinery. Challenges also are pending related to a permit from the State Water Commission and a zoning permit from Billings County.

Martin Construction of Dickinson will be the primary site developers for civil construction. ABC Fencing of Belfield will install erosion control devices and perimeter fencing.

"It is great to be finally beginning site work for Davis and to be working with these fine local companies as we get the project moving," Meridian CEO William Prentice said in a statement.