The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the expansion of a natural gas processing plant near Watford City.
But there are some conditions.
The Roosevelt gas plant will undergo a $150 million expansion. It will go from processing 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day – to 150 million cubic feet. The extra 100 mcf will be processed into natural gas liquids.
Two landowners near the plant raised objections about the potential noise, as well as light from both artificial light and gas flaring. The PSC instructed the company – Hiland Partners – to take some steps to mitigate those concerns, and communicate with the landowners.
"The Commission has worked hard to balance the needs for a speedy response to this kind of request," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "We also recognize the concerns the local folks have on this project."
Commission chairman Randy Christmann said the PSC has done everything it can to keep noise and lighting to a minimum.
"The fact is, there will be a flare there," Christmann said. "But I think when you look at the impacts to the environment and the citizens of North Dakota, this one flare will have dramatically less impact than the hundreds of flares that will be reduced or eliminated by having more gas processing available."
The two landowners raised their concerns at a public hearing in Watford City.
The company hopes to have the expansion completed by next November.