BIA doesn't want to acquire tribal refinery site
The Bureau of Indian Affairs doesn't want to acquire 469 acres in trust for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota because the tribe plans to use the land for an oil refinery.

The tribe owns the land in fee. A BIA representative said placing the land in trust would increase the federal government's liability.

"The government doesn't want to take on that risk," the representative said, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

The tribe wants to build a $250 million refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation. It would be the first new oil refinery in the nation in more than 30 years.

The BIA and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final environmental impact statement that supports a water discharge permit for the refinery but opposes the trust land acquisition.

Get the Story:
Refinery gets hard questions on reservation (The Bismarck Tribune 9/10)
Hearing tonight on Fort Berthold refinery (The Bismarck Tribune 9/9)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation's Proposed Clean Fuels Refinery, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Ward County, ND (August 28, 2009)

Related Stories:
Editorial: North Dakota tribal refinery has promise (09/04)
North Dakota tribe waits for EPA on oil refinery (2/11)