Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s evaluation report underlines TransCanada’s efforts in reducing environmental impacts.
A detailed 600-page evaluation of TransCanada’s Keystone XL re-route submission from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) showcases the care and concern TransCanada has undertaken to reduce the pipeline’s environmental impact.
The NDEQ report issued Oct. 30 also identifies TransCanada’s efforts to protect water sources, further enhance the pipeline’s safety and provide an independent public liaison officer.
Specifically, the NDEQ points out that TransCanada has:
- Avoided the Sand Hills region
- Minimized the amount of fragile soils that the pipeline will cross
- Established a re-route that establishes greater distances from drinking water sources in Clark and Western counties
- Detailed the environmental, social and other impacts along the re-route
- Identified mitigation measures that will be implemented to protect ground and surface water
- Agreed to pay for an independent public employee to act as a liaison between Keystone XL (KXL) and landowners, local communities and residents
- Agreed to provide baseline testing for domestic and livestock water wells within 300 feet of the route’s center line, upon request
- Agreed to adhere to 57 special pipeline safety conditions, as previously negotiated with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- Confirmed that emergency response plans will be developed for KXL and its facilities
- Identified a range of crude oil types that will be transported in the pipeline
- Agreed to provide evidence that we are carrying $200 million in third-party liability insurance to cover potential cleanup costs in Nebraska, in the event that an incident occurs.
In a news release, NDEQ acknowledged TransCanada’s responsiveness to input from the public and the agency in the Supplemental Environmental Report submitted to NDEQ on Sept. 5.
Before making a recommendation to the Governor, required before approval of a Presidential Permit, the NDEQ will conduct a formal public hearing on Dec. 4 to obtain comments on the evaluation report and will continue to receive written public comments until that day.
TransCanada announced Sept. 5 that the company submitted a Supplemental Environmental Report (SER) to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) for the preferred alternative route for the Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska.
“Based on feedback from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the public, we have refined our proposed routing of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release when the SER was submitted on Sept. 5.
“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.”
The preferred alternative route and additional information presented in the SER addresses feedback from more than 670 Nebraskans who took part in open house discussions, hundreds of additional comments submitted to the Nebraska DEQ and direct conversations with landowners along the pipeline corridor.
The filing respects the NDEQ’s timelines and the overall regulatory process for determining a re-route in Nebraska, as requested by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) in November 2011.