Landowners submitted their final reply brief in their appeal before the Nebraska Supreme Court that challenges the state Public Service Commission’s approval of a “Mainline Alternative” route for the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

The brief argues that the approval should be vacated on a number of grounds, such as that TransCanada failed to actually apply for a permit for the route the PSC eventually approved.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that “Omaha attorney David Domina said the project developer sought approval for a single preferred path for the project. Instead, the Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve an alternative route, which was not the subject of testimony submitted to the commission before the vote.

“The governing statute permits one application for one route at a time, not a smorgasbord from which the PSC can choose,” Domina wrote in the brief submitted to the Nebraska Supreme Court…

Domina argued that the Keystone XL threatens the public interest as potential spills from the underground pipeline would contaminate soil and possibly groundwater. He also said it’s unconstitutional for the state to give a private corporation, TransCanada, the authority to use eminent domain to obtain private land for the route.

In all, he listed 12 errors in the attorney general’s defense of the PSC vote that Domina argued require the court to order reversal,” the World-Herald reported.

Oral arguments were heard by the Nebraska Supreme Court in November 2018, and a ruling in the expedited case is expected in early 2019.

Should the Court side with landowners and Tribes, TransCanada would be compelled to file a new application with the Public Service Commission for a route for Keystone XL through Nebraska, initiating a review process that can take up to 18 months.

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