Environmental groups challenge permit for Keystone XL Pipeline - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Environmental groups challenge permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

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Environmental groups, including the Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC), have filed lawsuits challenging President Trump's approval of the long awaited Keystone XL Pipeline.

Last Friday, the President issued a permit for the Keystone Pipeline multi-billion dollar project after years of delay under the Obama Administration.

Six environmental groups filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, claiming the President relied on outdated environmental information to approve the pipeline.

The suit states the decision to issue the permit was based on a 2014 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The group claimed that potential tar sands oil spills are more dangerous than stated in the report.

The Pipeline would start in Alberta, Canada and cross through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and end in Nebraska.

Several agencies had signed off on the project.

During the last administration, the project needed approval from the State Department and the President.

In its court filing, NPRC stated approval of the permit violated the National Environmental Protection Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Northern Plains said landowners want a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and to see an emergency response plan from TransCanada.

"We really want an analysis of how dangerous this could be,” said Kate French, NPRC board chair.

“If we're really going to in a way help out this international company make a lot of money, what's in it for us? Also is it going to be hurting our community? Is it going to be hurting our water? Without a full EIS, we're really just grasping in the dark," French said.

Last week, TransCanada called the Presidential approval a significant milestone.

The company also said it will engage key stakeholders to obtain necessary permits and approvals.

The Indigenous Environmental Network and the North Coast Rivers Alliance filed a separate suit, also in Great Falls, on Monday.

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