State Department Announces Next Steps in Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Process.
TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone) proposes to construct and operate a crude oil pipeline and related facilities to transport Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) crude oil from an oil supply hub near Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to destinations in the south central United States, including a new tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma and delivery points in Nederland (near Port Arthur) and Moore Junction (in Harris County), Texas (click here for a map of the project). In total, the proposed Keystone XL Project would consist of approximately 1,711 miles of new, 36-inch-diameter pipeline, with approximately 327 miles of pipeline in Canada and approximately 1,384 miles in the United States.
The proposed Project would cross the international border between Saskatchewan, Canada, and the United States near Morgan, Montana. The proposed Project initially would have a nominal transport capacity of 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. Because this proposed project will cross into the United States from Canada, a Presidential Permit issued by the U.S. Department of State is required for the project to proceed. This subjects the Keystone XL Project to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires disclosure of potential environmental impacts (beneficial and adverse) and the consideration of possible alternatives.
Office of the Spokesman
March 15, 2011
The U.S. Department of State expects to request public comment on a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in mid-April. The Supplemental EIS will seek public comment on issues that will benefit from further public input. A Federal Register notice, to be issued in the mid-April time period, will provide further details.
Keystone XL is a proposed 1700-mile oil pipeline from the U.S.-Canadian border in Montana, through Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In order to provide interested parties and the public the maximum opportunity to comment on this important project, the Department will continue to solicit public comment. The State Department has held over 20 public comment meetings along the pipeline route in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as in Washington, D.C.
The public will have 45 days (Ends May 1] to comment on the Supplemental Draft EIS after the anticipated mid-April comment period begins. Following issuance of a Final EIS, the State Department will solicit public comment and host a public meeting in Washington, D.C., before it makes a determination under Executive Order 13337 on whether issuance of this permit is in the U.S. national interest.
The U.S. Department of State expects to make a decision on whether to grant or deny the permit before the end of 2011.
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