Listening to Nebraskans
On February 16th, 2017, TransCanada filed an application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking approval for the KXL route through the State. Going through the PSC process is the clearest path to achieving route certainty for the KXL project in Nebraska.
We have met with thousands of residents over the past eight years who understand the value of this project and what it means to the State. We have listened and are acting on what we have learned. This application to the PSC has been shaped by that direct, on-the ground input with Nebraskans.
Below are some commonly asked questions about the PSC process and the proposed route:
Why are you applying for a PSC application?
Our goal is to achieve route certainty in Nebraska in a timely manner. We have concluded that the PSC process gives us the best opportunity to achieve that goal.
Are you applying for the same route as before?
The proposed route was evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and approved by the Governor of Nebraska in 2013. The review also included active consultation with landowners along the pipeline corridor where over 90 percent have signed voluntary easements to construct KXL.
How does this affect the State Department process? Does it only affect it if the route changes?
The Presidential Permit, which allows us to cross the border from Canada into the U.S., is separate from the permit required in Nebraska. One is not required, before the other is approved.
How long will this process take?
We expect the process to be completed in 2017.
Why are you proposing this route rather than paralleling the existing Keystone route?
The Preferred Route was evaluated by the NDEQ over a 10-month public process in 2012. The process was inclusive of a seven -month public comment period and testimony period where feedback was provided on the Preferred Route for incorporation into route adjustments to avoid sensitive and important areas in Nebraska.
Among other findings, NDEQ found that the Preferred Route avoids the Nebraska Sandhills region and avoids many areas of fragile soils in northern Nebraska.
Compared to the Keystone Mainline Alternative Route, the Preferred Route was selected on the basis that potential benefits that may be afforded by co-locating with the Keystone Mainline are outweighed by the need for additional aboveground infrastructure (i.e., pump station and associated electrical transmission lines), as wells as, the additional impacts to the environment.
Which Counties does the route cross?
The Preferred Route is 275.2 miles long and would start at the Nebraska-South Dakota border in Keya Paha County, Nebraska and terminate at Steele City in Jefferson County, Nebraska. The Preferred Route passes through Keya Paha, Boyd, Holt, Antelope, Boone, Nance, Merrick, Polk, York, Fillmore, Saline, and Jefferson counties. Learn more about the KXL route.
Does the route still cross the Sandhills?
No, the proposed route does not traverse the Sandhills. In 2012, after an extensive public consultation process in Nebraska, the route was adjusted to reflect input from thousands of Nebraskans and subsequently endorsed by the NDEQ.
What is the status of easement agreements with landowners in the state?
Easements obtained over the past seven years remain in place. In each State where the project will be built we have more than 90 percent of the easements in place.
Do you expect to use eminent domain on the remaining landowners?
In each State where the project will be built we have more than 90 percent of the easements in place. We are confident in our ability to constructively engage with landowners regarding the remaining needed easements.