Some winter clearing approved for Keystone XL in Alberta

Calgary – On Jan. 21 The National Energy Board (NEB) approved TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd. (Keystone) request to begin winter clearing work on the North Spread of its Keystone XL Project (Project), in the Alberta portion of the pipeline.

Keystone has now satisfied the regulatory requirements for winter 2019 clearing of trees and shrubs along the pipeline route’s north section, starting at Hardisty, Alberta, as indicated in the NEB’s letter to the company.

The NEB’s approval applies to the north spread of the project only, which runs from its start point at Hardisty, Alta., to Consort, Alta. Clearing activities in other areas of the project, other construction activities, and any activity during the restricted activity periods for migratory birds are excluded from this approval. A “spread” is a portion of the project.

Further pipeline construction would be subject to NEB approval of other condition compliance submissions.

The NEB will continue to provide regulatory oversight throughout all stages of this Project to protect the public and the environment. 

On Feb. 27, 2009, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd. applied to the NEB to build and operate the Keystone XL Pipeline, a 36-inch pipeline that would ship approximately 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta to the United States. The Canadian portion of the pipeline would traverse 529 kilometres from Hardisty, Alberta, crossing the Canada/US border at Monchy, Saskatchewan. The line passes through southwest Saskatchewan in a southeast direction, passing near Shaunavon.

It was approved, in Canada, on April 22, 2010, subject to 22 conditions. It was denied a Presidential Permit by President Barack Obama in late 2015, and then granted that same permit by President Donald Trump in early 2017. In late 2018, it was held up in the United States by a Montana Federal Court.

The company has completed oil tank construction at the Hardisty Terminal in Alberta, and completed two Horizontal Directional Drill crossings of the Red Deer River and South Saskatchewan River. Work is also ongoing at several pump stations.

See related story here.


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