EPA injects new objections to Keystone pipeline

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday raised objections to the State Department’s newest draft environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles told the department in a letter that more analysis was needed on greenhouse gas impacts and pipeline safety before a final supplemental environmental impact statement is issued. Such work could add new delays to a permit decision, fueling new calls by advocates for Congress to mandate its approval.

The EPA’s rating of of the statement as “insufficient” fell between possible ratings of adequate and inadequate. EPA said the review also failed to consider alternative routes that would fully avoid the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska and did not resolve environmental justice and community issues.

The letter by Giles came on the final day of the department’s public comment period on the draft statement.

After the department issues a final statement, a national interest determination process will give EPA and other federal agencies one last chance to weigh in on the project before a permit decision is reached.


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