Keystone Pipeline Faces Another Obstacle
BY YADULLAH HUSSAIN, POSTMEDIA NEWS
TransCanada Corp. faces another regulatory hurdle and potentially more legal challenges in its effort to build the Keystone XL pipeline in that it will now need to recertify the Alberta-Nebraska conduit where it passes through South Dakota.
The state approved the project on June 29, 2010, and while the permit has not expired, TransCanada needs to “certify the conditions placed on the pipeline” by the regulator South Dakota Public Utilities Commission are all still valid and that the company will meet all of those conditions.
“I would anticipate there will be challenges,” PUC chairman Gary Hanson said in an interview. “There will certainly be challenges by a number of organizations and possibly citizens. Some of those persons or entities will probably not have any standing. But I believe some of them are certainly more mature organizations that understand the process.”
The 1,897-km pipeline passes through three U.S. states before connecting with an existing network linking it to the Gulf Coast.
Bold Nebraska, an anti-pipeline group comprised of farmers, ranchers, citizens and tribes, said in a statement it was “ready to challenge the permit on grounds of tribal rights, water protection and the need to avoid the Sandhills that reach into South Dakota.”
A new evidentiary hearing will take place once TransCanada applies to recertify, Hanson said, noting the company has yet to do that.
TransCanada reprsentative Davis Sheremata said in an emailed statement the company will go through the re-certification process “and is waiting to determine exactly what will be required by South Dakota PUC.”
The South Dakota commission intends only to examine the conditions rather than “go through the entire citing process.”
“The challenge will be the (hearing) process where we anticipate a number of attorneys representing a number of interveners, and it will depend on how creative those folks are,” Hanson said.
(article continued via link below)