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EPA and BIA publish final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed clean fuels refinery on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation

Release Date: 08/28/2009
Contact Information: Final EIS contacts:Steve Wharton, EPA, 303-312-6935; Mike Black, BIA, 605-226-7343: NPDES contact: Bob Brobst, EPA, 303-312-6129

Interested parties can view the EIS on the Web or at the locations listed below

(Denver, Colo. -- Aug. 28, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior-Bureau of Indian Affairs have completed the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation's Proposed Clean Fuels Refinery Project.

The EIS evaluates, analyzes and discloses to the public potential environmental impacts of the MHA Nation’s proposal to build a petroleum refinery and to produce buffalo forage on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near Makoti, North Dakota. The MHA Nation has requested that BIA accept 468.39 acres of fee land into trust and that EPA issue a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the process water discharges associated with operation of the proposed refinery.

The agencies issued the draft EIS on June 29, 2006, and held seven public hearings during July and August 2006 prior to the close of the comment period on September 14, 2006. The final EIS and accompanying Response to Comments address all comments received during the public comment period. Today’s publication of the EIS initiates a 30-day waiting period, after which the agencies will issue their respective Records of Decision regarding the fee-to-trust request and the NPDES permit issuance.

EPA and DOI-BIA representatives have scheduled a public meeting to update all interested parties on the details of the EIS and new information available on the impacts of the refinery on human health and wildlife, including food chain impacts. The public meeting will be at the Four Bears Casino in New Town, North Dakota, on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

The final EIS and Response to Comments are available on the Web at:
http://www.epa.gov/region8/compliance /nepa and
http://www.MHANation.com

The public also may view hard copies of the EIS and NPDES permit 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, Colo.

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.