Keystone XL Pipeline

Montana Federal Court briefs

A Montana federal judge has again declined to issue an order to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

But that denial does not mean TransCanada has the green light.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community asked for the order as part of their lawsuit against President Donald Trump.

Victoria Wicks has this story for SDPB. Listen here for more.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Public hearings begin next week for Keystone XL pipeline water crossing permits. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering permits for pipeline construction through South Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska.

The Corps is holding hearings by phone because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Montana comments are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28. South Dakota's are set for Sept. 29, and Nebraska's are on Oct. 1.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Keystone XL pipeline hit a snag earlier this year when its water-crossing permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was vacated by a Montana federal judge.

The Corps asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency lifting of that order, but the high court left it in place.

The fast-track permit was a problem because it did not require extensive environmental review. Now TC Energy has applied to the Corps, as well as to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for permits that will undergo public scrutiny.

Montana Federal Court briefs

Last week two pipelines hit major snags in federal courts. This week their stories continue as federal courts in the District of Columbia and Montana considered new filings on Tuesday, July 14. Victoria Wicks has this update for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Sierra Club

The United States Supreme Court has refused to reinstate water crossing permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. That decision puts construction on hold until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a thorough environmental impact study of the pipeline project.

A Sierra Club lawyer says the Corps should have done that assessment years ago.

Victoria Wicks has more of the story for SDPB.

SDPB

In The Moment ... July 7, 2020 Show 853 Hour 2

Two controversial pipelines were handed two different federal court decisions that could end up being the death blow for one of then depending on politics.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has been following the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline in the courts. She joins In The Moment with details.

SDPB News: July 7

Jul 7, 2020
SDPB

How does a U.S. Supreme Court's decision affect construction of the Keystone XL pipeline? Plus, what impact could the Mount Rushmore 4th of July events have on the health of South Dakota's communities?

All this and more in today’s SDPB News Podcast. Find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify today.

Natural Resources Defense Council

A Montana federal court order vacating certain water crossing permits for oil and gas pipelines will stand for now.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request from the Trump administration, TC Energy, and other energy companies to lift the judge's order pending appeal.

An attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council says that ruling effectively halts Keystone XL pipeline construction.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

A Montana federal court order that vacated water crossing permits for oil and gas pipelines will stand for now. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request from the Trump administration, TC Energy, and other energy companies to lift the judge's order pending appeal.

As a result, the Keystone XL pipeline is not permitted to cross 688 bodies of water on its route through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, at least until the appeal has played out.

Courtesy of Peter Larson

A research article published in April 2019 has created seismic waves in the study of paleontology.

At a dig in southwestern North Dakota known as the Tanis site, paleontologists found evidence of an inland surge of water that encased animals and plants in mud minutes to hours after an impact.

Researchers have attributed this snapshot of mass death to the Chicxulub asteroid that ended the Cretaceous period in a heartbeat.

A Montana judge's decision to vacate water permits for the Keystone XL pipeline still stands for now. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an immediate administrative stay pending appeal of the Montana ruling. But the appeals court has agreed to expedite the issue.

Preconstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline had already started when Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris put a stop to water crossings. He ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the Endangered Species Act by not adequately considering potential harm to listed species or habitat.

Montana Federal Court

Last month a Montana federal judge shook up the infrastructure industry when he vacated a widely used U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit. This month the judge amended his order to rein in its reach. Now Nationwide Permit 12, or NWP 12, can be used for installation of non-pipeline projects such as cable, electric, and internet. But the judge left in place an injunction against using the permit for building oil and gas pipelines. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Montana Federal Court

The Keystone XL pipeline now crosses the border between Alberta and Montana. TransCanada installed an 80-foot pipe in the middle of April, with completion of more than a mile of pipe planned. But with permits in question and lawsuits still going, the rest of construction is done piecemeal. One small construction site is near Philip, where workers are unloading pipe and build a worker camp. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

U.S. District Court Montana

A pivotal hearing in the ongoing Keystone XL saga was conducted Thursday, April 16, in Montana federal court.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump say he has inherent power as commander in chief to issue a permit unilaterally.

Lawyers for tribes and environmentalists say Congress has power over foreign commerce, and the president violated standing presidential orders when he issued a new permit in 2019.

All parties appeared remotely in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Sierra Club

A Montana federal judge has invalidated a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

In an order handed down Wednesday, April 15, Judge Brian Morris says a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bypassed necessary environmental reviews.

The order says TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, cannot build across waterways along the pipeline route until the Corps does more work on the permit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has asked a Montana federal judge to put an emergency stop to the Keystone XL pipeline.

The South Dakota tribe and Montana's Fort Belknap Indian Community filed a request for a temporary restraining order on Friday, April 3.

The tribes say it's dangerous to bring construction workers to rural areas while the COVID-19 pandemic is active.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Listen to audio for the whole story.

According to news reports, TC Energy plans to start preconstruction of Keystone XL pipeline in mid to late March. That's at least two weeks before a Montana federal judge will hear arguments from tribes and environmentalists asking for a preliminary injunction.

TC's activities include bringing in crews to mow and grade the sites of pipe yards in Montana at the point of crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

A lawyer for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Native American Rights Fund

In another round of briefings in Montana federal court, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says the Keystone XL pipeline route crosses land where the tribe holds mineral and surface rights. And it says TC Energy's own maps show that encroachment. But the Department of Justice says the presidential permit doesn't apply to the pipeline as a whole, so any encroachment is the problem of state and local authorities. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Legislative Research Council

House State Affairs has voted against allowing tribes to seek reimbursement for expenses associated with pipeline protests.

Last year's legislature established the PEACE fund to collect money for state or political subdivisions whose budgets might be stressed if the Keystone XL pipeline is built and protests rise up.

The committee voted 9 to 4 against including tribes in that group.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Stephen Volker

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline have again asked a Montana federal judge to impose a preliminary injunction on the project.

Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance say President Donald Trump acted illegally when he unilaterally gave the project a permit in 2019.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Lee Strubinger SDPB

South Dakota's refurbished riot legislation has been passed by House State Affairs. The bill rewrites last year's "riot boosting" law designed to squelch pipeline protests. The committee heard testimony on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and although there was strong opposition by the Speaker of the House, the bill passed on a 10-3 vote.

Most proponents say the law keeps protests peaceful. But opponents say the bill still steps on rights of free speech and assembly.

Montana Federal Court

A Montana federal judge has set a hearing date for renewed arguments on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance have again asked for a preliminary injunction against permitting the pipeline.

TransCanada and the Trump administration have asked for summary judgment.

Judge Brian Morris will hear arguments on those requests and more in Great Falls on March 25.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

TransCanada and the Trump administration have renewed their request to dismiss Montana lawsuits against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Parties filed briefs late in the day on Friday, Jan. 24.

Both proponents and opponents of the pipeline restated positions already on record in December, when Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris denied dismissal of the lawsuits and asked for further briefing.

Morris asked parties to clarify several issues, including whether the president has authority to issue a permit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Water Management Board has approved permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. After a dozen days of hearings held over the past nine months, the board unanimously voted on Tuesday, Jan. 21, to allow TransCanada, or TC Energy, to draw water from three South Dakota rivers.

The board also permitted Wink Cattle Company near Howes and landowners Dean and Lori Wilson near Buffalo to use water for the worker camps TC intends to build on their property.

NARF staff photo

TC Energy has reported to a Montana federal court that it intends to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline next month.

Trenching won't begin until April. But in February and March, the company plans to move heavy equipment to sites for worker camps, pump stations, pipe yards, and the first crossing at the U.S.-Canada border.

An attorney for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Supporters and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline summarized eleven days of testimony before the South Dakota Water Management Board on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Attorneys for the South Dakota Water Rights Program and for TC Energy hold that state law limits the board's consideration specifically to the use of water during pipeline construction.

But opponents say the board has an obligation to consider potential water contamination and health consequences after the pipeline is finished.

Faith Spotted Eagle file photo

An elder from the Yankton Sioux Tribe testified Monday, Jan. 13, on the potential impacts on women if the Keystone XL pipeline is built. Faith Spotted Eagle says the past, present, and future of indigenous women are threatened by construction and pollution. She made comments to the South Dakota Water Management Board in its hearing to determine whether to allow water use for the pipeline. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Water Management Board is hoping to wrap up hearings on Keystone XL pipeline permits in the next two days.

The board heard five days of testimony in October and five more days last month.

TC Energy and two landowners want to use water from Western South Dakota sources to build the pipeline and run worker camps.

Opponents include West River tribes and landowners.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

To read the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and make a comment, click on the link below. The review ends on Jan. 21.

C-Span

A federal judge in Montana has denied requests from President Donald Trump and other federal agencies to dismiss lawsuits against them for permitting the Keystone XL pipeline.

The actions were filed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Indigenous Environmental Network, and North Coast Rivers Alliance.

Judge Brian Morris issued his ruling just before Christmas. He says, in part, that it's up to Congress, not just presidents, to regulate commerce with foreign nations. And he says it's up to the courts to figure it out.

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