August 29, 2014

TransCanada submits alternative route for Keystone XL oil pipeline

An alternative route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been submitted by TransCanada to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

“Based on feedback from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the public, we have refined our proposed routing of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer in a written statement released by the corporation. “The preferred alternative route in this Supplemental Environmental Report was developed based on extensive feedback from Nebraskans and reflects our shared desire to minimize the disturbance of land and sensitive resources in the state.”

TransCanada submitted a new route for the oil pipeline in April. The revision of that route includes three significant modifications, according to TransCanada. The company says the new route not only avoids the Sand Hills, but minimizes the impact on areas that reflect characteristics of the Sand Hills; sand dunes and sandy, erodible soils.

The proposed route has been changed to avoid the Clarks Well Head Protection Area, moving the pipeline down gradient from the well head protection area. The corporation says the new proposed route would include fewer areas of wind erodible soils and cross fewer sloped areas.

The western route of Keystone XL has been extended further west to avoid the Well Head Protection Area near the city of Western.

TransCanada has submitted a Supplemental Environmental Report to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. The report has also been delivered to the U.S. Department of State. TransCanada has re-applied for an Presidential Permit needed so Keystone XL can cross the Canadian border into the United States.

“TransCanada has been working with the Nebraska DEQ, landowners, engineering surveyors and environmental survey crews since we presented our initial route analysis in April,” added Girling.

“Both the route identified in April and the current preferred alternative route can support the safe construction and operation of the pipeline.”

Keystone XL is a $7 billion, 1,700 mile project that would move crude oil made from the tar sands of western Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.

Go to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s Nebraska’s Keystone XL Pipeline Evaluation website.