Gov. Heineman Receives DEQ Final Report on Keystone XL

January 04, 2013

Gov. Dave Heineman has received the state’s Department of Environmental Quality Final Evaluation Report on the Keystone XL pipeline.  The next step in the process is for the governor to either accept, or reject, the project’s route across Nebraska.

You can read the report by clicking here.

Click here to let Gov. Heineman know you support new economic opportunities and new jobs right here in Nebraska by building the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The DEQ Final Evaluation Report confirms the Keystone XL pipeline is safe.  Chapter 6 of the report lays out the 57 Special Conditions the Keystone XL project has agreed to incorporate into the project, with many exceeding basic safety regulations for pipeline construction and maintenance.  As former U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration director Brigham McCown said, ‘this pipeline will be the safest ever constructed in the history of pipelines.”

DEQ also addressed the concern of an pipeline oil spill, and labeled the possibility rare.  From the report: “Spills of the size described in this section are relatively infrequent events; in fact, more than 80 percent of all liquid pipeline spills result in the release of less than 50 barrels.”  And the reality is ‘infrequent’ spills occur along pumping stations, which is property uniquely built to allow for effective clean-up, which is fast and minimizes the environmental impact.

In Chapter 5 of the DEQ Final Report, there is a listing of commitments made by the Keystone XL project to ensure safety of the pipeline that are in addition to state and federal regulations:

– Water Well Testing, a continual testing of water wells within 300 feet of the pipeline route will be conducted to ensure the quality of the water.

– Leak Detection, Keystone XL will continually monitor increased technologies and techniques to monitor and prevent leak detection and Incorporate such findings into Keystone XL upgrades.

– Emergency Response, once a pipeline route is determined Keystone XL will submit an emergency response plan to the state for review.  This will ensure Nebraskans are satisfied with emergency response and readiness plan.

– Financial Assurances, the Keystone XL project must have a minimum in $200 million in third party liability insurance to protect Nebraska’s natural resources and population in the instance of a spill.

The report outlines many more commitments made by the project, as well as concerns raised by the public and Nebraska’s political leadership about the project.  The report does an excellent job of outlining the concerns and explaining how the Keystone XL project has responded to the concerns.

The result is the Keystone XL project will be safe, has moved further east to avoid the Sand Hills and promises new jobs and economic opportunity for our state.

It is time to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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