Keystone XL Pipeline Presidential Permit Application
May 4, 2012
Today TransCanada submitted a Presidential Permit application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. The application includes the already reviewed route in Montana and South Dakota. The company will supplement the application with an alternative route in Nebraska as soon as that route is selected.
Last month, Nebraska passed legislation that will let TransCanada re-engage with Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality and continue to work collaboratively to develop an alternative route that avoids the Sand Hills region. Once the route is determined the Department will oversee the public review process – which is expected to take at least six to nine months. The revised route will then be submitted as part of the Presidential Permit application.
Federal governments on both sides of the border have called for changes that would help speed up infrastructure development through more efficient and effective permitting and review. Normally, a new application would trigger an new federal environmental impact study. But TransCanada contends that the only required review should be on the actual reroute itself.
Not all agree. Rest assured the need for jobs and energy security (in an election year) facing off against environmental opposition will continue to drive interest in this proposed project.