UPDATE: You may email a copy of your intervenor application by 5:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, March 22 to these two addresses and meet the PSC’s deadline to apply:
(NOTE: You must also follow-up by mailing signed copies of your application to the PSC and TransCanada’s attorneys to the addresses below)
TransCanada has submitted a permit application with the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) for a route to build its proposed Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska.
The Public Service Commission has opened a docket (OP-0003), and set a deadline of March 22 for qualified groups and individuals to apply to become an “intervenor” in the quasi-judicial hearing process for the pipeline permit.
An intervenor typically hires and is represented in the hearings by an attorney, who “conducts discovery, files and responds to motions, makes legal oral arguments in front of the Commission, prepares direct and rebuttal testimony, cross examines adverse witnesses, prepares legal briefs and memorandums, and participates in any appeals of Commission orders.”
You may also choose to represent yourself — as several landowners and other parties did during the similar 2015 Keystone XL review by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
NOTE: The PSC will also hold a number of public hearings where members of the general public will be able to speak and their comments will be included in the official record, as well their written comments — but the “intervenor” hearings are separate and take place in a quasi-judicial setting. Bold will share details on the public hearings PSC plans to hold on Keystone XL when they are announced.
Bold Nebraska itself will be applying to become an intervenor — and we encourage as many of you who are qualified and able to do so as well.
APPLY TO BECOME AN ‘INTERVENOR’
To qualify as an “intervenor”, you must:
- Demonstrate why your ‘legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities, or other legal interests’ may be substantially affected by the Keystone XL pipeline.
- You own property, or live or work on land inside the proposed pipeline route, which would be affected by construction, and in the event of spills.
- You own or farm land that is adjacent or near the pipeline route.
- You own farm land near bodies of water the pipeline would cross, or irrigate using this water (e.g. Ogallala aquifer)
- You may also apply as a private citizen who does not live directly on the pipeline route, but who values clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, and a climate not burdened by additional more carbon-intense tarsands being extracted and burned.
- (Note: In similar proceedings, landowners directly on a pipeline route have had the best luck in being granted intervenor status, although some others have also made successful arguments and were named as intervenors.)
- Have the financial resources to hire a Nebraska attorney to represent you in the PSC’s quasi-judicial intervenor proceedings -or- agree to represent yourself in the proceedings.
- You may also apply to represent yourself, but be aware the proceeding is conducted similarly to a court hearing, and you should familiarize yourself with the established protocols.
- (Note: Several Nebraska landowners on the KXL route and other activists did represent themselves during the South Dakota PUC intervenor process in 2015).
What exactly will the Public Service Commission be reviewing for Keystone XL?
- “The Commission’s review does not include an evaluation of safety concerns, including the potential risks of spills or leaks.”
- “The Commission’s review is limited to the environmental impact of the pipeline if it were to be built and operated along the proposed route. The Commission may consider as it relates to the route:
- 1) an environmental impact study;
- 2) a comprehensive soil permeability study;
- 3) a distance-to-groundwater survey;
- 4) evidence regarding the impact of the pipeline on wildlife;
- 5) evidence regarding the impact of the pipeline on plants located within and surrounding the proposed route; and
- 6) evidence of methods to minimize or mitigate the potential impacts of the major oil pipeline to natural resources.”
Ready to apply to become an Intervenor?
Be sure you or your attorney review the sample application below. Your application must be received at the PSC by March 22, include all of the information outlined below, and be addressed to Jeff Pursley, the Executive Director/Secretary of the Commission. You must also mail a signed copy of your intervenor application to TransCanada’s attorneys in Omaha, per the PSC rules, to the address below:
Nebraska Public Service Commission
Attn: Jeff Pursley, Executive Director
PO Box 94927
300 The Atrium Building
1200 N Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
James G. Powers
Patrick D. Pepper
MCGRATH NORTH MULLIN & KRATZ, PC LLO
First National Tower, Suite 3700
1601 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Questions? + Bold Nebraska Keystone XL Community Meetings
If you have any questions about applying to become an intervenor, please email Bold Nebraska state director Linda Anderson (email@example.com).