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Proposed tribal refinery clears another hurdle

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Federal officials have released their final environmental impact statement on a proposed Fort Berthold reservation oil refinery, saying they prefer having a wastewater treatment plant built at the refinery site near Makoti.

Officials of the Three Affiliated Tribes have been working with the Environmental Protection Agency to get approval for a 13,000-barrel refinery to process Canadian crude oil.

The environmental statement released Aug. 28 by the EPA, the Interior Department and the BIA, comes three years after a draft version.

The Interior Department says it prefers to keep the 470-acre site as fee land rather than trust land. The state and the tribes announced an agreement last year on sharing tax revenue on fee land, which is privately owned.

A public hearing on the environmental statement is scheduled Sept. 9 at the casino in New Town. The government’s proposals for a permit and land ownership status are open for public comment until Sept. 28.

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