Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman (R) informed President Barack Obama (D) in a January 22, 2013, letter that Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) had completed its review of potential environmental impacts of a negotiated revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline and that he thereby approved that pipeline across Nebraska.
The Keystone XL project, first proposed in 2008, had raised concerns about potential impacts on sensitive areas in Nebraska. The southern leg of the pipeline, from Oklahoma to Houston, Texas, is already under construction. But the Alberta, Canada-to-Nebraska segment requires a presidential permit because it crosses the border between Canada and the United States. The governor’s letter confirms that Nebraska has determined that the revised route avoids many of the most sensitive areas and notes that potential spills in the Ogallala aquifer should be limited in impact and would be remedied by pipeline sponsor TransCanada.