SD Water Management Board

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.

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.

First Peoples Worldwide

Indian reservations are vulnerable to crime and exploitation when transient workers pass through the area. That's the testimony the South Dakota Water Management Board heard on Friday, Dec. 20.

The board is considering whether to allow the Keystone XL project to use local water if the pipeline is built through this state.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

If the Keystone XL pipeline is constructed, workers will stay in 10 camps as they move through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

Pipeline opponents have shared concerns about the potential for workers to commit crimes, especially against women.

At a South Dakota Water Management Board hearing on Thursday, Dec. 19, a project supervisor explained how TC Energy contractors keep control over their employees.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The chief engineer for the South Dakota water rights program says state law governs what she considers when reviewing applications.

Jeanne Goodman signed off on five water permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Those permits have been contested by pipeline opponents.

Goodman took the stand on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at hearings in front of the Water Management Board and faced hours of cross examination.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline tried to get climage change reports into the record at a state Water Management Board hearing held this week in Pierre.

TC Energy's attorney objected to repeated efforts to include the Fourth National Climate Assessment and other information on climate change for the board's consideration.

Although the data was not allowed, one witness testified to taking climate reports into consideration when making plans for tribal water use.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

This week the South Dakota Water Management Board is hearing four more days of testimony on water permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The board heard five days of testimony in October, but didn't get through TC Energy's requests.

Still waiting to be heard are applications from two landowners who want to host worker camps.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report on the latest round of hearings that started Tuesday, Dec. 17.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's Water Management Board is holding hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline during the week when a Keystone oil spill in North Dakota is making national news.

Reports say 383,000 gallons of oil spilled before containment, contaminating wetlands but not drinking water.

State Senator Troy Heinert told the board on Thursday, Oct. 31, that he's concerned about potential damage to South Dakota's agriculture and tourism industries if water is polluted.

Victoria Wicks

The Water Management Board has set certain guidelines to consider water use for the Keystone XL pipeline. The board is hearing one legal consideration at a time for each of three rivers individually.

On this fourth day of hearings, testimony still centers on the first consideration, water quantity and availability.

However, when a witness is not available to come back for each of the considerations, he or she can be heard out of turn and address such topics as public good and beneficial use.

Wednesday morning started with one such witness.

Victoria Wicks

South Dakota Water Management Board hearings continued on Tuesday, Oct. 29, to determine if water should be allocated to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Two initial days of hearings took place at the beginning of the month.

A witness for TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, spent much of the day on the stand, agreeing with conclusions of a DENR engineer who has recommended issuing the permit.

Toward the end of the day, a witness from the Yankton Sioux Tribe stepped up, and the hearing took a contentious turn.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Victoria Wicks

An engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources testified for hours on Thursday, Oct. 3, in Pierre. The Water Management Board is hearing testimony to determine if the state's water can be used for the Keystone XL pipeline.

During the hearing, two children named as intervenors came forth to cross-examine the witness but were not allowed. Their mother, also an intervenor, took up their case and then did the cross herself.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks is in Pierre covering this hearing.

Victoria Wicks

Two people spoke this morning during the public testimony segment on water use for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The state Water Management Board is hearing five days of testimony in October, two of them Thursday and Friday, Oct. 3-4, and the other three at the end of the month.

One of the people testifying says it's time to put an end to the use of fossil fuels before time runs out.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports from Pierre.

A South Dakota Water Management Board meeting ended abruptly on Wednesday, July 17, after a commenter yelled at the board, and the chairman called for a motion to adjourn. The board met to plan future hearings on water permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The business end took about an hour, and then public comments extended the hearing another hour.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline are asking for more information before South Dakota Water permits are granted for pipeline construction. Opposing parties want the Water Management Board to compel discovery from pipeline parent company TC Energy Corporation, previously known as TransCanada. These issues were the subject of a hearing held Wednesday, May 8, in Pierre to determine rules and scheduling for future hearings.