Keystone XL's New Path Gets Positive U.S. Environment Review

(Bloomberg) -- TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline won a relatively positive review from the U.S. State Department, which found that the conduit’s approved route would have no significant environmental impacts.

The alternate route that Nebraska regulators approved for the line would have minor to moderate effects on three of the eight environmental categories the department assessed, with minor impacts on three others and a negligible effect on one, according to a review released Monday.

The report may provide fodder for both proponents and detractors of the pipeline, which has seen its development drag on for about a decade amid staunch opposition from environmentalists. The 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) pipeline, which would help carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners, has won the U.S. and state approvals it needs, but TransCanada has yet to officially declare that it is building the project.

While TransCanada is planning some preparatory work for the fall, the pipeline still is facing a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court, which the company expects to be resolved by late this year or early next, as well as legal cases challenging the project’s U.S. presidential permit.

“We will review the environmental assessment and provide comment to the Department of State as necessary,” Matthew John, a TransCanada spokesman, said by email.

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