The Crude Life Interview: Hedrington explains air quality, government red tape and the cleanest refinery on the planet

The Crude Life Interview: Hedrington Explains Air Quality, Government Red Tape and the Cleanest Refinery on the Planet

Interview:  Dan Hedrington, SEH

During the interview, host Jason Spiess and Hedrington discuss the next steps for the Davis Refinery, the Bakken communities and the state of North Dakota. In addition, the two talk about how the project took a little longer than projected, how the EPA was folded into the project and how the state “vetted” the new technology.

During the interview, Adam Williams’ email address was mentioned with an invitation to contact him for more information, support or questions –

The following is the press release from Meridian Energy regarding the Air Quality permit and the Davis Refinery:

Meridian Energy Group, Inc. announced that the North Dakota Department of Health (“NDDoH”) – Air Quality Division has issued, for public comment, its Draft Permit to Construct for the Davis Refinery. This Draft Permit is the last step toward an award of a Permit to Construct (“PTC”) by the NDDoH, and is based on the thorough review of the Davis Refinery application documents, engineering designs, and related equipment specifications, by the NDDoH.

Issuance of the draft PTC begins a 45-day public comment period, during which NDDoH will receive and consider comments and analysis from interested parties and the public. A public meeting will be scheduled within the 45-day period by the Air Quality Division of the NDDoH to facilitate participation in the process. Both during and upon conclusion of the comment period, the NDDoH will review and address all relevant input received, and then move forward with issuance of the final PTC. Meridian is hopeful that the issuance of the final PTC will take place in time to complete site grading and other work in 2017, and to launch fabrication of the refinery components by the end of the year.

Meridian’s PTC application as a Synthetic Minor Source was filed in October 2016, and amended in April 2017, to further reduce emission results for the Davis Refinery. The draft PTC issued by the NDDoH is in accordance with all applicable Synthetic Minor Source requirements. This marks the first time that a refinery of this size and complexity has been reviewed and approved (on a draft basis) as a Synthetic Minor Source. Meridian believes this demonstrates that the application documents, and the extensive underlying engineering effort, supports its contention that the Davis Refinery will be able to attain the Lowest Achievable Emission Rates (“LAER”) possible.

Meridian CEO William Prentice on the Issued Draft Permit: “We are extremely proud to have achieved this milestone in the permitting process. Publication of this Draft Permit acknowledges the tireless work performed by the entire team – Meridian, SEH, Vepica, ZIA and many others, and the efforts of the NDDoH staff. We continued to push the limits of technical innovation throughout this process, and never stopped seeking opportunities to make the Davis Refinery as clean as it could possibly be.”

Prentice then added on the review process and path ahead: “We fully appreciate the thorough and meticulous review performed by the NDDoH, which held us accountable at every phase of the review process. We look forward to the next step in the process as administered by NDDoH, since it will allow the community and interested parties to learn how Meridian’s design efforts, which included modifications made as a result of the rigorous review by the Department of Health, have ensured that the Davis Refinery will operate in full compliance with the law and in a manner that is responsive to the concerns of the local community. The Davis Refinery will indeed be the cleanest refinery on the planet when completed.”

Andreina Pena, Environmental Manager at Vepica USA on the overall permit to construct process: “From the beginning, Meridian focused the engineering for the Davis Refinery on demonstrating that the sustainable development of a project of this magnitude is feasible near the source of the feedstock, in the heart of the Bakken. Meridian firmly believes that doing what is environmentally responsible does not need to be mandated by regulatory requirements, and that environmental and commercial viability are not mutually exclusive. Furthermore, the selection of the proper control technology, whether or not mandated by current regulations, makes sense from an operations, community, environmental and investor point of view. With the issuance of a Draft Permit to Construct, the NDDoH has further validated that current, proven control technologies, when sensibly implemented, can ensure a project of this scope can be classified as a synthetic minor source.”

Eddie Martinez, CEO Zia Engineering & Environmental Consultants LLC. on the review process: “This is a major step towards issuance of the Permit to Construct for the proposed project. With this action, the NDDoH is indicating that it is finished with the initial review of the application documents, has found the documents to be administratively complete and accurate and that they intend to proceed with consideration of permit issuance. This culminates more than a year of effort in design, detailed analysis and modeling of the facility to get to this point, and this establishes a new benchmark in the industry related to how a project of this nature can be compatible and environmentally responsible.”

Martinez added: “We are excited to take this step and look forward to proceeding with the public and outside agency comment process. We also wish to compliment the NDDoH in working proactively with Meridian and our staff throughout the review process. Based on our work on projects of similar magnitude, we can say that the Department’s review has been extremely thorough to this point, and that NDDoH has been very professional in its request for follow up data and questions. We are confident that the overall process will very soon result in the formal issuance of the Permit to Construct and the start of actual facility construction.

About Meridian Energy Group, Inc.
The Mission of Meridian Energy Group, Inc. is to provide long-term shareholder value through the development and operation of the cleanest, most efficient and environmentally-compliant crude oil refineries in the world, benefiting the community and its investors. Established in 2013, Meridian is led by industry experts with a combined 500 years of world-class expertise in energy & hydrocarbon processing, project development, finance, and large capital project management. Meridian Energy Group, Inc. current headquarters is in Belfield, ND.

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Author Profile

Jason Spiess is a multimedia journalist, entrepreneur and content consultant. Spiess has over 25 years of media experience in broadcasting, journalism, reporting and principal ownership in media companies.  (Over 30 years experience if you count his adolescent years as a newspaper delivery boy learning the importance and logistics of daily distribution and monthly door-to-door bill collecting.) Spiess has worked in the areas of oil and gas, UAS and precision agriculture, health care, cannabis, agriculture, real estate, government affairs and economic development. Spiess is the host of two radio programs, Building the Bakken and Coffee & Capitalism, and three specialty programs, MonDak OilField Review, Corporate Ink and UnStuck, that carry a radio network that spans five states and two countries. Spiess is a North Dakota native and graduated from North Dakota State University.

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