The U.S. State Department published a public notice in the Federal Register on June 15 announcing its intent to conduct an environmental analysis for the northern segment of the proposed intercontinental Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. The analysis of the section extending from the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips, Mont., to Steele City, Neb., would supplement a final environmental impact statement for the original Canada-to-Texas project that was issued by the State Department in 2011.
Due to environmental concerns regarding the impact to the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, the State Department and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality also are exploring alternate routes for the pipeline.
The southern segment, from Oklahoma to Texas Gulf Coast refineries, is considered an interstate pipeline project requiring minimal federal involvement.
Disagreement about funding for the Keystone Pipeline is reportedly one of the key issues impacting the possible passage of a long-term transportation and infrastructure bill.
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