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DEQ Announces Public Meetings

Nebraska’s DEQ just announced a series of public meetings where citizens and landowners can see detailed maps and learn about next steps in the pipeline route certification process.

We want to make sure Nebraskans know that TransCanada has NOT submitted a new federal permit application yet. The Keystone XL pipeline approval is still very much up in the air. President Obama just this week reinforced that a full review must happen before any decision is made. 

If you are a landowner, please see these tips on dealing with TransCanada.

Rep. Terry, representing the Omaha area, continues to try and get the pipeline fast-tracked but thanks to Senator Nelson and others Rep. Terry’s efforts have failed.

DEQ’s full press release on the public meetings

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a series of information sessions in May, to discuss with the public the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route corridor information that has been submitted by TransCanada.  The four meetings will be located along the proposed corridor area. 

“These meetings will be one opportunity for the agency to meet with interested persons and discuss where we are at in the pipeline review process,” said NDEQ Director Mike Linder.  “We will have detailed maps available, so that people can get a clearer idea of where the corridor is proposed, and we will have staff on hand to discuss the next steps in the process, and how comments can be submitted.”

Dates and locations are:

            O’Neill  – May 9, 4-7 p.m. at the O’Neill Community Center, 501 S. 4th St.

            Neligh – May 10, 4-7 p.m. at the Neligh-Oakdale High School Gym, 600 J St.

            Albion – May 16, 4-7 p.m. at the Boone County Fairgrounds, 11th and Fairview Ave.

            Central City – May 17, 4-7 p.m. at the Central City Community Room, 1515 17th St.

The information sessions will be an opportunity to meet and talk with those involved in the review, in an “open house” format with tables and posters around the room.  Topics will include NDEQ’s role in the review process, a large area featuring detailed map enlargements, an overview of the next steps in the review process, and an area to submit comments to be considered by the agency.  NDEQ has also invited TransCanada to attend the information sessions, to respond to questions that are beyond the scope of the state’s review.

“NDEQ and our contractor, HDR Engineering, will continue to review this initial proposal, and following the meetings, we will have discussions with TransCanada about our initial reactions to their route corridor report,” Linder said.  “TransCanada is then expected to submit a more refined route plan for the state’s evaluation.”

Linder said that during this review, NDEQ will develop a draft evaluation report which will be made available to the public.  Several months from now when the draft evaluation report is completed, the agency will announce a public hearing on Nebraska’s review.  Public comments are invited now through the conclusion of the public hearing, and those comments will be considered as the state develops a final report to submit to the Governor.  

To find out more about the process, review documents or submit comments, go to NDEQ’s new web site that focuses on the pipeline review at: https://ecmp.nebraska.gov/deq-seis/   A link to this area can also be found on NDEQ’s main web site, at www.deq.ne.gov  

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