(Neb)-TransCanada Files Keystone XL Route Application With PSC
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Keystone XL pipeline developer TransCanada has filed a new application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission again seeking approval for a route through the state. The PSC h0as 210 days to act, with an additional 5 months "just cause" allowed.
TransCanada's previous attempts to start construction in Nebraska have been thwarted by activists and some landowners who worry about its environmental impact, especially the potential impact to the massive Ogallala Aquifer if a major spill occurs.
Opponents have already met to discuss how they can halt the project in the wake of President Trump signing executive orders last month to make it easier for the pipeline to move forward.
In making its decision, the PSC is barred by state law from evaluating safety considerations during construction or operation...including spills or leaks.
It can consider evidence of impact to natural resources and steps taken by TransCanada to minimize those impacts, the social and economic impacts of the proect - including taxes and jobs, and how the governing bodies of the counties and towns along or near the route feel.
Opponents may focus on a provision that lets the PSC consider whether any existing utility corridor could be used for the pipeline.
The Keystone XL would travel from Canada through Montana and diagonally northwest to southeast across South Dakota and Nebraska, to connect with an existing Keystone pipeline network to carry crude oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Some opponents say if the Keystone XL must be built, it should use that existing route.
Only individuals and groups who can show a "substantial legal interest" will be allowed to become formal intervenors and directly participate in the proceedings, but the PSC will take public comments in a process to be announced later.
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