Groups sue North Dakota over oil refinery near national park

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Three environmental groups are suing North Dakota over an air quality permit that allows construction of an $800 million oil refinery about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

National Parks Conservation Association, the Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Dakota Resource Council filed the lawsuit in state court on Thursday.

The lawsuit says the state erred when it concluded the proposed Davis Refinery wouldn't be a major source of pollution and wouldn't negatively impact the park.

Meridian Energy Group in June received the permit from North Dakota's Health Department allowing construction to proceed. The company maintains the plant will be "the cleanest refinery on the planet."

State Air Quality Director Terry O'Clair says he stands behind the "very thorough review" of the project.