TransCanada files new Keystone XL route with Nebraska DEQ

TransCanada Corp. filed a supplemental environmental report (SER) with Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality that contains a preferred alternative route for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline across the state.

The Sept. 5 filing respects NDEQ timelines and the US Department of State’s overall process in developing a new route for the project through the state, TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said. “It was developed based on extensive feedback from Nebraskans and reflects our shared desire to minimize the disturbance of land and sensitive resources in the state,” he said.

NDEQ Director Mike Linder said it was an important step, and the state agency would thoroughly review it. “An initial scan of the report indicates that it responds to some of the comments raised by the NDEQ and the public, but a full evaluation will now begin,” he said.

Keystone XL opponents weren’t satisfied. “The new route still crosses high water tables, sandy soil which leads to higher vulnerability of contamination, and the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Nebraska’s economy,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of BOLD Nebraska.

TransCanada said that the preferred alternative route and additional information in the SER address feedback from more than 570 Nebraskans who participated in open house discussions, hundreds of additional comments submitted to the NDEQ, and direct conversations with landowners along the pipeline corridor.

Three main modifications

TransCanada said that the SER identifies three significant route modifications in addition to various minor refinements: Although NDEQ defined areas to avoid which were characterized as Sandhills, comments from landowners and the state agency indicated there were other areas with similar characteristics, including features similar to sand dunes and areas with sandy soils which could be eroded with a thin organic topsoil layer. The new route minimizes impacts on these features, the project sponsor said.

It said that public comments and NDEQ’s review suggested that the pipeline not be routed west of the town of Clark’s Fork because it would cross an area up gradient of a wellhead protection area (WHPA) where groundwater is shallow and is the town’s water supply. TransCanada said it moved the route down gradient to an area with less soil that could be eroded by wind and where fewer slopes are crossed.

Another town, Western, was issued a WHPA extending further west and overlapping the original pipeline route after a final environmental impact statement was published in 2011. TransCanada said that it developed another route to move the pipeline out of Western’s WHPA.

TransCanada said that it began working on the preferred alternative route in 2011. It added that in addition to the SER, it would provide an environmental report to DOS on Sept. 7 which is required as part of the federal department’s review of the company’s presidential cross-border permit application.

Linder said that NDEQ expects to complete a draft of its report and make it public sometime this fall. The state agency will announce a public hearing at that time and continue to accept public comments, after which it will submit a final report to Gov. Dave Heineman (R), possibly by the end of 2012, he said. The governor will then have 30 days to approve or reject the reports, Linder said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Shell cancels Arrow LNG project

01/30/2015

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has abandoned its plans for what would have been a fourth coal seam gas-LNG project at Gladstone in Queensland.

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Douglas Channel LNG moves toward 2018 startup

01/29/2015 Exmar NV, EDF Trading, and AIJVLP, a joint venture of AltaGas Ltd. and Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., have taken full ownership of the 550,000 tonne/year...

Mitsui charters two more LNG ships for Cameron export project

01/29/2015 Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Tokyo, reports contracts for chartering two new ships to transport LNG to Japan from the Cameron LNG export project in Loui...

US House approves bill aimed at increasing LNG exports

01/28/2015 The US House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at increasing US LNG exports by requiring the Department of Energy to determine whether a proje...

New Russia-Turkey gas pipeline route approved

01/28/2015

OAO Gazprom reported selection of a route for a gas pipeline across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey.

PHMSA outlines community steps to reduce pipeline incident risks

01/27/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released a guide to best practices for communities to reduce risks from pipeline inci...

Knight Warrior Eaglebine-Woodbine crude pipeline advances

01/27/2015 Knight Warrior LLC has reached agreements to build its 160-mile, 100,000-b/d pipeline linking the East Texas Eaglebine-Woodbine crude oil play to H...

ETP, Regency to merge in $18-billion deal

01/26/2015 Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Regency Energy Partners have agreed to merge in a unit-for-unit transaction, plus a one-time cash payment to ...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected