The revised Keystone XL Project (KXL Project 2017) is a proposal by TransCanada to construct and operate a crude oil pipeline and related facilities at the international border. The pipeline would continue into the United States to transport crude oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the Williston Basin to existing pipeline facilities near Steele City, Nebraska for the onward transport to markets in the Texas Gulf Coast area (Figure 1). The previously proposed KXL Project (KXL Project 2012) extended further south to a proposed tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma and to delivery points in the Port Arthur and east Houston areas of Texas. The southern portion of the KXL Project, now titled the TransCanada Gulf Coast Pipeline KXL Project, was determined to have independent utility and is no longer a part of the KXL Project. The revised KXL Project is proposed to cross the states of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, all within the Corps’ Omaha District (NWO). A portion of the Nebraska segment of the pipeline has been re-routed to avoid the sandhills area. KXL is anticipated to be 875 miles long within the continental U.S., with an initial capacity of 830,000 barrels per day.
The Department of State (DOS) is the lead federal agency for the KXL Project and on January 31, 2014, released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The Final SEIS is a technical assessment of the potential environmental impacts related to the proposed pipeline. On November 6, 2015, President Obama rejected TransCanada's application for a Presidential Permit (PP) to complete the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Obama agreed with the DOS’s determination that the proposed pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States, but President Trump signed the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline on January 24, 2017. TransCanada then submitted a new PP application to the DOS on January 26 2017, and on March 23 2017, DOS issued a Record of Decision (ROD) approving a PP. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible to issue the right of way (ROW) grant to TransCanada which would allow them to construct, maintain and operate the pipeline on Federal lands, but is waiting to issue the ROW grant until the Corps has provided a Section 408 permission for use of Army lands. TransCanada has not yet submitted any applications to the Corps for Section 404/10 permit authorization, however on April 5 2017, a Section 408 request was received for the pipeline crossing of the Fort Peck Project.
The ROD and PP have been completed by the DOS, but the ROW grant has not been completed by BLM. The BLM is waiting for the Corps to issue a Section 408 permission to use Army lands to proceed. A Section 408 request letter was received by the Corps on April 5 2017, and reviews are underway to determine if an affirmative Section 408 determination can be made. Once Regulatory applications are received, the Corps will begin its reviews to determine if affirmative Section 404/10 authorizations can be made.