June 4, 2008 / 6:39 PM / 9 years ago

S.D. voters pass rezoning for Hyperion refinery

NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - Voters in Union County, South Dakota, on Tuesday approved zoning for Dallas, Texas-based Hyperion Resources to build the first new U.S. refinery since 1976.

Hyperion Resources plans to build the 400,000 barrel per day refinery in Elk Point, South Dakota.

The Union County Board of Commissioners had approved the rezoning of land from agricultural use earlier this year.

Both Hyperion and opponents of the $10 billion project seperately requested a voter referendum on the rezoning decision.

“We have always believed the people of Union County should have substantial say in whether the project is located here, which is why we supported having this referendum,” Project Executive Corky Frank said in a statement.

Despite a favorable referendum outcome for Hyperion, opponents say the refinery has many hurdles to clear before construction begins.

“There’s probably a hundred pressure points that they have to pass through,” said Ed Cable of Citizens Opposed to Oil Pollution, which currently has a lawsuit pending against the rezoning decision, Cable said. (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; editing by Jim Marshall)

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