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[ Refinery Foe’s take case SDakota Supreme Court Mar 07, 2012
Opponents of the proposed Hyperion oil refinery in Union County are taking their case to the South Dakota Supreme Court.
Save Union County, the Sierra Club and Citizens Opposed to Oil Pollution are appealing a Feb. 9 decision by Hughes County Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett, which upheld the Prevention of Serious Deterioration air-quality permit for Hyperion Resources 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery, according to court paperwork filed this week.
The issues that we raised are the ones we feel the circuit court did not adequately address, said Ed Cable of Save Union County, the groups spokesman. We tried to reduce the number of items the court has to consider.
Sometime this week, Hyperion also will appeal one aspect of the permit it has challenged in the past C whether the limit on carbon monoxide emissions from the refinerys large process heaters is technically achievable C company spokesman Eric Williams wrote in an email.
For the opponents appeal, the court will review two issues:
Whether the Board of Minerals and the Environment has standing to order an environmental impact statement and whether they should have for Hyperion.
Whether the board erred in granting Hyperion an 18-month construction extension, since the original deadline passed in February 2011. The company was granted a construction extension requiring it to break ground by March 2013.
Since the appeal is from a final order, the court must hear the case. If it were an interlocutory appeal C filed during the pendency of the case that is not final, as defined by Greg Sattizahn, counsel to the Unified Judicial System C then the court could have declined to hear it.
The appellants first brief is due April 16. Hyperion has 45 days to submit its brief, and the appellants can file a brief in reply. Then a hearing will be scheduled, Sattizahn said.
Because the two sides can file briefs early or request extensions, its unclear when the court might hear the case.
Williams said Hyperion would not begin construction while the Supreme Court has the case.
While one could make an argument that we technically could start construction then, we will not begin construction during that time, he wrote. We do expect this process to be concluded in a timely manner.
Whatever the outcome, Cable said, a Supreme Court decision is not the final word. There are many other avenues (to pursue), he said.