Federal Judge Orders Feds to Conduct Full Environmental Review for the Keystone XL Pipeline

Protesters braved cold & rain to rally against the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. Photo Courtesy: Martine Zee

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GREAT FALLS, Mont.  — Federal Distrit Judge Brian Morris has ordered the federal government to conduct a full environmental review of a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline. The ruling made on Wednesday was a victory for the Indigenous Indigenous Environmental Network and other groups challenging the pipeline.

The judge ruled that the U.S. State Department must conduct a new environmental impact statement (EIS) that takes in consideration Nebraska regulators’ November 2017 decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s preferred route through the state, and instead approve an alternative.

“The Mainline Alternative route differs from the route analyzed in the EIS. The Mainline Alternative route crosses five different counties. The Mainline Alternative route crosses different water bodies. The Mainline Alternative route would be longer. The Mainline Alternative route would require an additional pump station and accompanying power line infrastructure,” wrote Morris

The decision halt or delay construction of the proposed pipeline that was supposed to begin construction next year.

The judge’s decision comes after the Trump adminstraton revived the proposed Keystone XL pipeline after former President Barack Obama rejected the project.

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