Report on Keystone XL flawed, group says

Jan. 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

LINCOLN, Neb., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A Nebraska report on the planned route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state is fundamentally flawed, an advocacy group said.

Last week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality released a 2,000-page report on the proposed route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline saying a route proposed by TransCanada avoids the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills. An initial route plan was rejected on environmental concerns.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of pipeline opponent Bold Nebraska, said the NDEQ report is flawed in many areas, including its delineation of state ecosystems. She said she was hoping Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman would reject TransCanada's latest plans.

The NDEQ finds the proposed Keystone XL route through Nebraska avoids the Sand Hills area but would cross other regional aquifers.

The report said any effects on state aquifers from an oil spill from Keystone XL would be localized.

Heineman's office has about a month to review the report and send its findings to the U.S. State Department.

TransCanada is building the U.S.-leg of the pipeline, dubbed the Gulf Coast Project. Keystone XL requires approval from the U.S. government because it would cross the Canadian border.

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