A new oil refinery is coming to the town of Devils Lake, North Dakota, reports the Forum News Service (FNS).
A development agreement has been made between the Devils Lake City Commission and Eagles Ledge Energy, clearing a path for the construction of a 20,000 barrel-per-day refinery. After approval of the agreement, City Commissioner Rick Morse said, “I think this is one of the best things that’s ever happened to this community.”
The FNS reports that city officials worked with Eagles Ledge for over six months on the details of the agreement. The new refinery, located west of the city, will create roughly 100 jobs and will generate the city an annual revenue of $1.75 million.
Prior to the vote, the commission received comments from the public, the bulk of which expressed worries and concerns regarding the refinery itself as well as the development process. Rachel Lingstrom of Forward Devils Lake, an economic development group, said, “We took a lot of different opportunities to educate ourselves, have a really good understanding of what a refinery is and what it means to our community environmentally [and] financially.”
Devils Lake citizen Margie Brekken told the FNS, “I think there’s a lot of frustration that they’re not being included in committee meetings or development meetings.” Other residents criticized the city for its lack of disclosure concerning the development. Brekken added, “In my experience they’ve not returned emails, and they have not included residents on their committees.”
City officials, however, claim that the development agreement will protect Devils Lake from any issues related to the oil refinery and its construction. Morse said the development agreement “put everything on paper that needs to be looked at to protect everybody.” Some residents, though, are calling for more research into the potential effects of having a refinery nearby. With the development agreement approved Eagles Ledge is able to apply for a build permit with the state, a process which may take up to a year. To read the original report, click here.