This page will be used to discuss issues of proposed Oil Refinery.  
Watch This video please!!!!!!!


WindFarmLeaseConsiderations.pdf (705KB)

URGENT: Information on Indian Energy Concept Paper possibly being passed through the Senate
Friday, September 18, 2009 5:35:14 PM

Hello Everyone,  (Yes, this e-mail is long but the first paragraph is extra important since it concerns all of Indian Country Development and thus it concerns us all so please read at least the first paragraph)

I have provided additional information pertaining to the meetings that were held in Bismarck, ND yesterday (see attached) concerning the Indian Energy Concept Paper.  During the meeting yesterday morning the Fort Berthold Tribal Business Council said that they are looking at having 1,000 oil wells operating on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota by 2013 through drilling in the Bakken Formation.  We have just 18,000 acres of land on the reservation left that have not been leased but 3 oil companies are in negotiations to lease it out.  Our Tribal Chairman, Marcus Levings, went in front of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (Headed by North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan) yesterday proudly bragging about the fact that we would be the first reservation with 100% of our land leased.  70% of the wells will be located in the Mandaree area on the reservation and through the INDIAN ENERGY CONCEPT PAPER (attached) the development would be fast tracked.  Currently, the tribe must go through a 49 step process to get things permitted and this can take up to 4 months but the Tribal Business Council feels this is too long.  Through the Indian Energy Concept Paper the process would be shortened by cutting out steps that were put into place to protect the people.  ALL People can comment on the paper expressing their concerns but time is limited.  When we asked the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs about the deadline for comments we were told “the sooner the better.”  There is a separate bill moving through the Senate right now (other than the ACES bill) that could move on its own through the Energy and Natural Resource Department which has its own energy committee within the Senate (lead by Byron Dorgan) and, if passed, the language from the Indian Energy Concept Paper could be slipped in there fast tracking development throughout ALL OF INDIAN COUNTRY!  Please read the attached paper and return comments asap.  Here is a link to more about North Dakota State Senator Byron Dorgan:

Here is a link to a U tube video in which you can hear Senator Byron Dorgan himself talking about a one stop oil shop in ND.  Fort Berthold is the key to the ND leadership, including Senator Kent Conrad and Governor John Hoeven, pushing their plans to lead our country in Fossil fuel/energy production. The U Tube Video is entitled meeting with Interior Secretary nominee Ken Salazar:

ND has the potential generating capacity through wind of 138,400 MW.  There is currently just 714.43 MW of wind energy installed throughout the state.    That is .005% of the wind capacity we have in this state.  North Dakota alone is theoretically capable (if there were enough transmission capacity) of producing enough wind-generated power to meet more than a fourth of U.S. electricity demand (

As for the proposed oil refinery at Fort Berthold and the Fox Hills Aquifer concerns brought out in page 3 of the water study (study is attached) here is a paragraph from Chapter 3 page 12 of the Final EIS:
The Fox Hills and Hell Creek aquifers are being considered as water sources for the proposed
project. According to Schmid (2004), very few deep wells have been drilled in this region of the
Reservation. This is due in part to two primary reasons: the topographical relief of lands on the
north side of Lake Sakakawea is not suited for irrigated agricultural crops and the small, rural
populations that occur in this area of the Reservation make use of the abundant, shallow surficial
glacial aquifers as local water supply sources. Therefore, the demand for irrigation water and
local water supply is relatively low in this portion of the Reservation.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed oil refinery on Fort Berthold does not take the current oil drilling into account.  They are still working on the Environmental Assessments (EA’s) for each oil well to approve the Application for Permit to Drill (APD) but more than one APD can be bundled into each EA.  They do not currently have anything completed for EA’s covering any area East of Lake Sakakawea concerning the oil drilling.  The Department of the Interior (DOI) was in attendance at the meeting yesterday morning, represented by Bob Middleton, who informed the Tribal Business Council that due to cumulative impacts that are rising as a result of the oil drilling the tribe will need to start planning for an EIS for the ENTIRE reservation which can take at least 2 years to complete.  Representatives from the BIA (Mike Black), BLM (Lonnie), and ND Senators have all stated that they are doing everything they can to fast track the oil drilling and permitting process at the request of our Chairman and Tribal Business Council.  The tribe currently doesn’t even have access to work plans for all of the oil rigs operating on the reservation.  They don’t even have the authority to regulate and monitor anything on fee land even though its inside the reservation boundaries.  Don Yellowbird, who previously worked as the compliance officer for the tribe, has pictures showing many of the wells, particularly Marathons wells, being out of compliance.  When he was caught on site he was escorted off and told he could not go onto any of the sites, including the 24 oil sites on trust land, without permission from the oil companies.  He has since quit that position and is working on trying to develop wind at Fort Berthold but he has no expertise in this area and was just recently appointed the position by Tribal Councilman Scott Eagle.  The BIA has the authority to fine these companies but, according to Don Yellowbird, “the oil companies are getting away with a lot of non-compliance at the sites and are not being fined”. The only work plan the tribe has full access to from the oil companies is short-term and is from the Dakota 3 LLC which is owned, in part, by our Casino Manager Spencer Wilkinson, Jr.  The Zenergy company that Dakota 3 LLC partnered with is writing their own EA’s and submitting them and they are being processed through the BLM and BIA and getting APD permits.  Because of the work that Mike Black of the BIA did with programmatic EA’s and additional hiring of staff out of Albuquerque working in the DESCRUM ( Division of Environmental Safety Cultural Regulations Management) office, the EA process on Fort Berthold has been fast tracked just since August 31, 2009.  The Zenergy company has already approved 12 new APD’s since that time with at least 31 more scheduled to be fully completed before the end of October and 60 completed before the snow flies and this is just ONE company. (Additional oil well information can be found here: The representative from Zenergy is a women named Kelley Bryan, she’s based out of Tulsa, OK and is the Williston Basin Land Manager for Zenergy.  She told me that most, if not all, of the wells in the Bakken have to be fracked in order to get to the oil.  The fracking process (which uses up to 2500 chemicals) requires 100 full semi water trucks for EACH well (upwards of 3 million gallons).  She said as much as possible they try to reuse the fracking water for each well but that it is all eventually pumped UNTREATED into a pre-drilled disposal well.  She said none of the disposal well sites were on TRUST land (but she didn’t say anything about fee land) and that there are sites near Saddle Butte and Watford City just off of the reservation where these disposal wells are located.  She mentioned the Dakota/Lakota area as being very porous and a good site for the disposal wells for the fracking water.  Those wells have no lining, there is nothing stopping the fracking water from moving into underground water sources and contaminating them.  Kelley confirmed this, it is because of a stipulation within the Clean Water Act and they can do this without permits.  Kelley’s e-mail address is: her phone number is: (918) 504-4243.

The Fort Berthold Tribal Business Council is out of control.  As you are now aware, there is so much more to this than just the proposed oil refinery.  There are currently 5 separate land owners associations at Fort Berthold because no one really knows what’s going on with the oil drilling concerning surface and mineral rights.  The bonus checks that were given by the oil companies in the beginning are gone, all of the money has been spent and no royalty payments are being made by the oil companies.  Even when/if the companies do start to pay, the people signed contracts anywhere from 3-10 years to get just 18% of the royalties, some are only 16%.  Some of our 500,000 acres of leased out land was sold for as little as $35/acre.  (my eyes are tearing up as am I writing this).  All of the wells are currently flaring off natural gas, the biggest I saw was run by none other than Halliburton.

Here is a link to another source of information from the Innervoice Organization of Fort Berthold.  They are a great resource and have collected information on the oil and gas:

I realize I have included a lot of people in this e-mail but I thought it was important to get this information out to as many people as possible.  Please feel free to contact me at anytime using the contact information below to discuss more details.  I took about 17 pages of notes at the meetings yesterday and this was just a brief summary of some of the key points.  Please share this information freely on my behalf and if there is anything you or your organization can do to help get the word out there PLEASE let me know.  I am swamped with this and with also planning the Native Peoples Native Homelands Conference in conjunction with NASA taking place in November (the website will go live Sept. and also with being the lead on planning a Northern Plains Power Shift:  Any and all help is welcomed  and is much appreciated.  Thank you everyone for your time and please, take a moment to send some prayers to the people of Fort Berthold, many of whom are suffering the consequences of a dangerously greedy Tribal Business Council.  Three people in the small community of White Shield alone have died from brain cancer in the last year and a half; a nine year old boy is currently fighting for his life after having his brain tumors removed.  Several others are dealing with many forms of cancer including brain, spine, bone, lung, lymph node, breast, pancreas, testicular, leukemia and others.   We also have sick children with asthma and sick elders with bad hearts that are getting worse.  Our water, soil and air is being contaminated through the help of the ND state leaders and this seems to be a goliath that we are fighting against.  The bottom line is about money, energy and jobs being produced in the U.S. with the majority of the money going to only a handful of people while the rest are left dealing with the consequences of dirty energy production and greedy leaders...........

Personally, I will not stop fighting against the corruption in this state until we have shifted the power.  I will do what I can to protect my people, the people of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations.  Right now there are people in North Dakota living in fear.  I want everyone to know that I am not afraid.  I will speak the truth and make my voice heard.  Please join me in this fight in whatever capacity you can, even by sending a prayer because they are very powerful and they give us strength.

From the bottom of my heart,
Mod-zi-gidaz (Thank You)

Kandi L. Mossett
Indigenous Environmental Network
Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Organizer
P.O. Box 3054 Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 214-1389
Fax: (866) 677-6743
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On 9/18/09 10:21 AM, "James Grijalva" <> wrote:

Thanks Kandi.  It was interesting to hear some of the views on the call this week.  I thought your letter to Mike Black requesting a comment extension was good -- to the point and offering a legitimate reason for additional time.  I saw the State Hydrologist comment on not using the Fox Hills Aquifer for industrial purposes -- that may be useful if the refinery proposes to use that water; the comment that it is used heavily by municipalities may be helpful as to the possible groundwater contamination, though I thought the EIS put the FH aquifer at 1,000 feet below surface -- so it's unlikely to be contaminated from surface spills, though perhaps through underground injection.

Someone on the call said there was a recent study or paper of the TAT indicating a plan for 500 oil wells in the next 4 years or so; do you know what that was, and if we can get a copy of it?  This could relate to the question of adequate assessment of cumulative impacts -- do you know if the FEIS makes any reference to the issue of increased oil development in the region?

Most of these issues will only have a chance of influencing DOI if they are recent (meaning they came out after the DEIS comment period).

Hi Jim,

I have attached the water study for you to view.  I have also made you a member of the EAC group where all of our files our downloaded.  


Kandi L. Mossett
Indigenous Environmental Network
Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Organizer
P.O. Box 3054 Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 214-1389
Fax: (866) 677-6743
Check out our new website!

Please take a few moments to check out our My Space Page!

Learn more about the Campus Climate Challenge!

 Join the IEN Newsletter!
> <>

Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:Water+Use+in+Energy+-#E74AE.pdf (PDF /«IC») (000E74AE)

James M. Grijalva
Kenneth & Frances Swenson Professor of Law
University of North Dakota
Law School Room 201
215 Centennial Dr., Stop 9003
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9003


Federal Register
: August 28, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 166)]
[Page 44380-44381]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []


Bureau of Indian Affairs

Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation's Proposed Clean Fuels Refinery, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Ward County, ND

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as co-lead agencies; and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as cooperating agencies, intend to file a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) with the EPA for the proposed

[[Page 44381]]

Clean Fuels Refinery, and that the FEIS is now available for public review. The proposed Federal actions are: (1) The taking into trust of 469 acres of fee land by the BIA in support of the MHA Nation's proposal to construct and operate a clean fuels refinery and produce buffalo forage; and (2) the issuance by the EPA of a Clean Water Act, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Discharge (NPDES) permit for the discharge of treated wastewater from the proposed refinery.

DATES: The Record of Decision on the proposed action will be issued no sooner than 30 days after the release of the FEIS. Thus, any comments on the FEIS must arrive by September 28, 2009. A public meeting will be held on September 9 at Four Bears Casino, 202 Frontage Road, New Town, ND, at 7 p.m.

ADDRESSES: You may mail or hand carry written comments to Mike Black,
Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Plains Regional
Office, 115 4th Avenue, SE., Aberdeen, SD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Black, BIA, 605-226-7343, or
Steve Wharton, EPA, 303-312-6935 or 800-227-8917.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Three Affiliated Tribes (MHA Nation) has
requested that BIA accept into trust status 469 acres for the MHA Nation to construct, own, operate, and maintain a petroleum refinery on 190 acres of the 469-acre parcel. The remaining acres would be used to grow forage for buffalo. The land in the northeast corner of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is located along Highway 23, four miles west of the town of Makoti in Ward County, North Dakota.
The MHA Nation has also applied to EPA for an NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act for discharges from the proposed refinery.
Feedstock for the proposed refinery would include 10,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) of synthetic crude oil via existing pipeline from Alberta, Canada; 3,000 BPSD of field butane from local suppliers; 6 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas via existing pipeline; and 300 barrels of bio-diesel or 8,500 bushels per day of soybeans. From the feedstock, the refinery would produce about 5,750 BPSD of diesel fuel, 6,770 BPSD of gasoline, and 300 BPSD of propane.
The FEIS analyzes potential environmental effects of two Federal agency decisions:
(1) Whether BIA should accept lands into trust in support of the MHA Nation's proposal to construct and operate a clean fuels refinery and produce buffalo forage; and (2) whether EPA should issue a Clean Water Act NPDES permit for the process water discharges
associated with the operation of the proposed refinery.
The FEIS has identified the Agencies' preferred alternatives.
BIA and EPA will be making their decisions in separate Records of Decision (RODs), which will be issued after the 30-day wait period on the FEIS.
The MHA Nation will be deciding whether to build and operate the refinery.
BIA has identified its preferred alternative as Alternative 3.
In this alternative, BIA would not place the land into trust status and the refinery could be constructed by the Tribes.
If the proposed refinery is constructed, EPA has identified Alternative A, issuance of an NPDES permit for effluent discharges associated with the refinery as its preferred water discharge alternative.
EPA and BIA recommend that the design of the refinery, if constructed, be modified consistent with Alternative 4.

Public Availability of the FEIS

    The FEIS is available on the Web at:

    Hard copies of the document are available for public review 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, CO.
--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
, and White Shield, and
--Rensch garage in Makoti, ND.


    This notice is published in accordance with section 1506.10 of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) implementing the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and related Department of the Interior requirements in the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 1-6), and is in exercise of authority delegated to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs by 209 DM 8.

    Dated: August 21, 2009.
George T. Skibine, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. E9-20816 Filed 8-27-09; 8:45 am]
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