[Federal Register: August 28, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 166)]
[Page 44380-44381]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandan, Hidatsa, 
Arikara (MHA) Nation's Proposed Clean Fuels Refinery, Fort Berthold 
Indian Reservation, Ward County, ND

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Department of 
Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) as co-lead agencies; and the Mandan, Hidatsa 
and Arikara (MHA) Nation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as 
cooperating agencies, intend to file a Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (FEIS) with the EPA for the proposed

[[Page 44381]]

Clean Fuels Refinery, and that the FEIS is now available for public 
review. The proposed Federal actions are: (1) The taking into trust of 
469 acres of fee land by the BIA in support of the MHA Nation's 
proposal to construct and operate a clean fuels refinery and produce 
buffalo forage; and (2) the issuance by the EPA of a Clean Water Act, 
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Discharge (NPDES) 
permit for the discharge of treated wastewater from the proposed 

DATES: The Record of Decision on the proposed action will be issued no 
sooner than 30 days after the release of the FEIS. Thus, any comments 
on the FEIS must arrive by September 28, 2009. A public meeting will be 
held on September 9 at Four Bears Casino, 202 Frontage Road, New Town, 
ND, at 7 p.m.

ADDRESSES: You may mail or hand carry written comments to Mike Black, 
Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Plains Regional 
Office, 115 4th Avenue, SE., Aberdeen, SD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Black, BIA, 605-226-7343, or 
Steve Wharton, EPA, 303-312-6935 or 800-227-8917.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Three Affiliated Tribes (MHA Nation) has 
requested that BIA accept into trust status 469 acres for the MHA 
Nation to construct, own, operate, and maintain a petroleum refinery on 
190 acres of the 469-acre parcel. The remaining acres would be used to 
grow forage for buffalo. The land in the northeast corner of the Fort 
Berthold Indian Reservation is located along Highway 23, four miles 
west of the town of Makoti in Ward County, North Dakota.
    The MHA Nation has also applied to EPA for an NPDES permit under 
the Clean Water Act for discharges from the proposed refinery.
    Feedstock for the proposed refinery would include 10,000 barrels 
per stream day (BPSD) of synthetic crude oil via existing pipeline from 
Alberta, Canada; 3,000 BPSD of field butane from local suppliers; 6 
million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas via existing 
pipeline; and 300 barrels of bio-diesel or 8,500 bushels per day of 
soybeans. From the feedstock, the refinery would produce about 5,750 
BPSD of diesel fuel, 6,770 BPSD of gasoline, and 300 BPSD of propane.
    The FEIS analyzes potential environmental effects of two Federal 
agency decisions: (1) Whether BIA should accept lands into trust in 
support of the MHA Nation's proposal to construct and operate a clean 
fuels refinery and produce buffalo forage; and (2) whether EPA should 
issue a Clean Water Act NPDES permit for the process water discharges 
associated with the operation of the proposed refinery. The FEIS has 
identified the Agencies' preferred alternatives. BIA and EPA will be 
making their decisions in separate Records of Decision (RODs), which 
will be issued after the 30-day wait period on the FEIS. The MHA Nation 
will be deciding whether to build and operate the refinery.
    BIA has identified its preferred alternative as Alternative 3. In 
this alternative, BIA would not place the land into trust status and 
the refinery could be constructed by the Tribes. If the proposed 
refinery is constructed, EPA has identified Alternative A, issuance of 
an NPDES permit for effluent discharges associated with the refinery as 
its preferred water discharge alternative. EPA and BIA recommend that 
the design of the refinery, if constructed, be modified consistent with 
Alternative 4.

Public Availability of the FEIS

    The FEIS is available on the Web at: http://www.epa.gov/region8/
    Hard copies of the document are available for public review at the 
following locations:

--Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Plains Regional Office, 115 4th 
Avenue, SE., Aberdeen, SD.
--Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fort Berthold Agency, 202 Main Street, New 
Town, ND.
--EPA Region 8 Library, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO.
--Three Affiliated Tribes Governmental Offices, 404 Frontage Road, New 
Town, ND.
--Each of the MHA Nation's Segment Offices: Four Bears (Tribal Gov. 
Center), Mandaree, Shell Creek (New Town), Lucky Mound (Parshall), Twin 
Buttes, and White Shield, and
--Rensch garage in Makoti, ND.


    This notice is published in accordance with section 1506.10 of the 
Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 
1508) implementing the procedural requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 
and related Department of the Interior requirements in the Department 
of the Interior Manual (516 DM 1-6), and is in exercise of authority 
delegated to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs 
by 209 DM 8.

    Dated: August 21, 2009.
George T. Skibine,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. E9-20816 Filed 8-27-09; 8:45 am]