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Keystone XL To Re-Certify With PUC

The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Friday on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Three landowners are suing to block the project. They say TransCanda bypassed proper permitting agencies. Officials with the Keystone project say they plan to re-certify the project in South Dakota while they await court rulings and federal permitting.

The Keystone XL Pipeline would carry tar sands crude oil 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas. The Project was first approved in South Dakota four years ago, and Keystone officials have to re-certify conditions with the Public Utilities Commission to prove the project is still viable in the state.

Keystone President Corey Goulet says that will happen in the next several weeks. He says they now have landowner easements for the entire route. Goulet says the overall cost of the project has increased because of court and federal permitting delays, so the project brings even more tax dollars to the state and counties. He says Keystone officials agree to 59 new conditions to improve construction and maintenance of the pipeline.

“We’re required to do more aerial patrols more frequently than is normally required. We’re required to do in-line inspections where we send tools down the line to inspect the integrity of the line more frequently than is normally required.  Those are the types of conditions that we’ve agreed to," Goulet says.

Goulet says Keystone XL will also have shut off valves every 20 miles.

Opponents of the pipeline say they are concerned about ground water contamination and other environmental issues. 

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