Friday, August 17, 2018

Keystone XL Pipeline Hit with New Delay:  Judge Orders Environmental Review

Protesters, including Native American tribes, began opposing the Keystone XL pipeline during the Obama administration. (Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
The embattled Keystone XL oil pipeline faces yet another delay after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to conduct a new environmental review of the project.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Montana issued a sharp rebuke to the federal government, which had argued it need not produce an extensive new environmental impact statement for the pipeline after regulators in Nebraska ordered its builder to follow a new route.

In his ruling Wednesday, Morris said the alternative route would cross five different counties and different water bodies, would be longer than the original path, and would require an additional pump station with supporting power line infrastructure.  As a result, he wrote, federal agencies "cannot escape their responsibility" to evaluate the alternative under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The decision is likely to further delay the project and casts another layer of uncertainty over when, or whether, it will be completed.  Unless a new review is completed in less than a year, it would not be possible to start construction in time for the 2019 building season.

Read more at Keystone XL Pipeline Hit with New Delay:  Judge Orders Environmental Review

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