Victoria Wicks

Joe Biden has said he'll revoke the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Sources say that revocation could happen on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the same day as the inauguration.

A Cheyenne River woman who has fought against South Dakota permits for years says she hopes this time the pipeline project will die.

Victoria Wicks has this report for SDPB.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

A federal judge in Montana has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two tribes against President Donald Trump.

The suit claims the president's unilateral permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline in early 2019 violated treaties and the U.S. Constitution.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community say federal agencies have a duty to consult government-to-government with tribes.

In South Dakota, during water management hearings, a Rosebud official outlines the inadequacy of tribal involvement to date.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

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

Climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted a large crowd to Rapid City's Memorial Park on Monday, Oct. 7. Part of the focus was stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

At that same time, environmental and federal lawyers were preparing for a hearing in Montana that happens on Wednesday, Oct. 9. There a federal judge will consider placing an injunction on construction of the pipeline.

One of the rally organizers talks about the importance of the Montana hearing with SDPB's Victoria Wicks.


A federal judge in Montana will hear arguments on Sept. 12 on the merits of a lawsuit brought by tribes against President Donald J. Trump.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community hold that the president unconstitutionally violated treaties when he issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, filed a motion asking Federal Judge Brian Morris to dismiss the case.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The Keystone XL pipeline has been on-again, off-again since 2008. That's when TransCanada first applied for a presidential permit to build the pipeline across the U.S./Canada border.

South Dakota rancher John Harter has known since the beginning that the pipeline is planned to cross his land near Winner.

He says he's relieved that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals left a Montana injunction in place, but he realizes this might not be the end.

Governor Kristi Noem is introducing two bills that create separate funds that address any issues that may arise in the event of actions against the Keystone XL pipeline.

One fund sets up a litigation cost fund for the state and counties, while another will get used to bring suits against those who participate in or fund “riots.”

Governor Noem is releasing these two bills during the last full week of legislative session, and 17 working days after the deadline for bill introduction after the senate amended the rules.

U.S. District Court-Montana

A Montana federal judge has loosened restrictions on preconstruction activities for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The federal court halted the pipeline in November until the U.S. State Department completes an accurate and updated environmental impact statement.

TransCanada appealed the injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the Montana federal court to lift restrictions pending appeal.

An environmental lawyer says once construction starts, opponents lose.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Domina Law Group

The permit for the final segment of the Keystone XL pipeline was challenged Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Nebraska Supreme Court.  During the permitting process, the Nebraska Public Service Commission rejected two pipeline routes but approved an alternative route. Opponents say the Nebraska PSC had no statutory authority to do that. Lawyers for TransCanada and the PSC say commissioners followed due process, and the alternative route was always part of the discussion.

In The Moment ... November 20, 2017 Show 224 Hour 2

TransCanada has doubled the number of crewmembers working to clean up the area where the Keystone Pipeline leaked more than 200 thousand gallons of crude oil. Company officials say the incident is under control and the area presents no threat to public safety. But local leaders are still concerned. SDPB's Lee Strubinger has the report.


Around 75 TransCanada crew members are working to excavate the pipeline oil spill site in northeast South Dakota near Amherst.

Over 200,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Keystone pipeline. TransCanada says it shut down the pipeline after noticing a drop in pressure.

TransCanada officials say they’ve controlled the pipeline leak and the spill is not a threat to public safety. They say crews are working around the clock to manage the site.

In The Moment ... November 17, 2017 Show 223 Hour 1

The Keystone Pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in Marshall County. Aberdeen American News Reporter Shannon Marvel is following the story. She joins us to discuss ongoing coverage of the story by the Aberdeen American News. Follow Shannon Marvel on Twitter: @smarvel_AAN or find her at

Keystone Pipeline Spills Oil In Northeast South Dakota

Nov 16, 2017

About 75 TransCanada representatives are securing the oil spill site near Amherst, South Dakota.

TransCanada Corp. says its Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.

The spill occurred Thursday morning.

Brian Walsh is with the South Dakota Department of Energy and Natural Resources. He says TransCanada is responding according to state agreements with the company.

Victoria Wicks

Pending approval, the Keystone XL pipeline will pass across the state of South Dakota, through Buffalo, Murdo and Winner. The pipeline also crosses the river near the Cheyenne River Reservation.

A protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock in North Dakota went on for months.
That’s prompted the state to prepare for potential demonstrations. It starts with one piece of legislation.

Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline has had a long history for something that so far does not yet exist. It's future has not been decided either.

South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission first permitted the pipeline to cut diagonally across the western half of the state in 2010.

But TransCanada did not complete the project within four years, and so state law required the company to make assurances that it could still meet the requirements of the permit.

Pipeline Bill Deferred

Feb 13, 2017
Photo by Victoria Wicks

The Senate Taxation Committee has deferred a bill dealing with pipeline taxes. Sponsors hope the bill encourages companies to make pipelines with American products.

Senate Bill 158 puts a tariff on crude oil pipelines made of foreign steel. The bill also takes that revenue and puts it in a fund to pay pipeline leaks and clean up.  Certain sections also place accountability for failure to pay the tariff on company officials.

The bill’s prime sponsor is Senator Troy Heinert. He says the bill is about promoting American jobs and businesses.

Contention Follows Executive Order Approving Pipelines

Jan 26, 2017
Chynna Lockett

President Donald Trump’s executive order approving two pipelines has sparked both positive and negative reactions across the country. The decision comes while hundreds of campers remain in North Dakota protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Three words are posted above my desk at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. These are the core principals the Dakota Midday team endeavors to bring into the studio every day.

One of those words is “Authentic.”


Now that crews have repaired a leak on the Keystone pipeline, they’re working to clean up the ground contaminated by crude oil. TransCanada shut down the pipeline last week when a local landowner discovered a leak. The company is now pumping oil through the line at reduced pressure.

TransCanada officials are investigating what caused 16,800 gallons of oil to escape the Keystone pipeline and saturate the ground near Freeman. A federal regulator oversees that analysis.


Officials with TransCanada say they’re working on an in-depth investigation into a leak that put 400 barrels of crude oil into the ground near Freeman, South Dakota. TransCanada shut down the Keystone oil pipeline for one week to find the problem and fix it.

TransCanada crews found the source of an oil leak Friday, worked to repair it over the weekend, and had crude oil flowing through the Keystone pipeline by Sunday.

Mark Cooper with TransCanada says the company is analyzing the root cause of the oil leak and he can’t offer details until the investigation is complete.

Dakota Digest for April 8, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, we look at education and technology. Also, Palestinian artwork is on display in South Dakota - find out where. Plus, there's a new rule from the US Department of Labor. All of this and more on this week's Dakota Digest.