BELFIELD, N.D. — A North Dakota agency has asked the developers of a proposed refinery in the eastern part of the state to provide more data to support its claims about emissions levels.

Meridian Energy Group Inc. officials say the Davis Refinery near Belfield would be the “cleanest refinery on the planet.” But in a letter to the company, the state Department of Health says there’s no data showing the company’s emissions level estimates for a number of pollutants have been achieved or maintained at an existing refinery.

The company has filed for a permit that would require the proposed facility emit less than 100 tons annually of pollutants, such as sulfur and nitrous oxide, and less than 25 tons annually of hazardous air pollutants, including benzene and cyanide, The Bismarck Tribune ( ) reported.

The health department is reviewing the company’s permit application. Division of Air Quality Director Terry O’Clair said the company is currently being asked to provide examples of how the proposed emissions controls have previously been used, with similar fuel sources and at similar levels.

O’Clair said the company is still submitting documentation but that one example provided includes stack tests results from other refinery process heaters that indicate the proposed emissions limits are achievable.

“As the department’s review continues, we continue to provide further documentation in response to questions,” Meridian CEO William Prentice said in a statement. “Meridian is committed to assuring the accuracy of the data and designs that are submitted and the proposed emissions control technology being proposed.”

Company officials said the emissions information and supporting data are based on other recent projects and from equipment manufacturers, and that the combination of a number of these technologies is what will keep the plant clean.

O’Clair said an air quality application review usually takes between a few weeks to several months.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,