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Judge allows limited ‘pre-construction’ work to proceed on Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted at 8:08 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:56-04

GREAT FALLS- TransCanada Corp. will be allowed to proceed with limited pre-construction activities on its Keystone XL Pipeline until further environmental analysis is finished.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls granted Wednesday the request by teleconference. TransCanada sought the conference in a Nov. 15 court filing.

The list of projects was agreed upon by TransCanada and the Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council, which has sued to block the pipeline. TransCanada will continue to work with potential contractors and landowners, including in eastern Montana.

Earlier this month, Morris halted work on the proposed 1,179-mile line, which would extend from the Alberta, Canada tar sands, cross a half-dozen states including Montana and connect with an existing line in Nebraska.

TransCanada had already been hauling equipment to eastern Montana near Baker in anticipation of starting construction next spring.

Morris ruled that the State Department had not completed a sufficient environmental review before granting a permit.

President Trump, who touted construction of the pipeline during the 2016 campaign, has said the administration will continue to move forward on the project.