Business | Environment | Trust

North Dakota tribe to move forward with plans for oil refinery





The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota is finally moving forward with plans for an oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

After nearly a decade of work, the tribe's land-into-trust application for the 469-acre site was approved by the Obama administration. Kevin Washburn, the new leader of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, signed the record of decision in one of his first decisions since being confirmed as Assistant Secretary.

"This is truly a historic day," Chairman Tex Hall said at a press conference yesterday.

The land-into-trust application was one major component of the project. The other was a permit that the Environmental Protection Agency approved in August.

"By working with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people to place this land into trust status, we are supporting infrastructure that will help bring American oil and gas to market while promoting Tribal economic development and self-determination regarding land and resource use," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who also spoke at the press conference, said in a press release.

The tribe expects to break ground in 2013. Construction will generate between 800 and 1,000 jobs, Hall said.

The facility itself will create about 80 permanent jobs, he said.

Get the Story:
Oil refinery, first to be built in the U.S. in more than 30 years, planned for N.D. reservation (The Grand Forks Herald 10/11)
Moving forward (The Minot Daily News 10/11)
Three Affiliated Tribes to get control of land for oil refinery (The Bismarck Tribune 10/11)