US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District Website

Pre-Construction Notifications (PCN)

On May 30, 2017, Omaha District received pre-construction notifications (PCNs) for river crossings within the states of Montana (two crossings), South Dakota (one crossing), and Nebraska (two crossings).   The information contained within the PCNs at this time is considered “draft” and may be supplemented or otherwise updated or changed.  Prior to releasing the PCN information, certain information was withheld under exemptions 6 and 7 (see below).  As of June 22, 2017, none of the PCNs has been determined “complete” under the Clean Water Act, Section 404.


FOIA Exemption 6 protects personnel and medical files from mandatory disclosure where doing so would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.  Agencies must strike a balance between the protection of an individual’s right to privacy and the preservation of the public’s right to government information.  The public interest analysis is limited to the core purpose for which Congress passed the FOIA, to shed light on an agency’s performance of its statutory duties.  We have redacted the names of Corps employees from the letters forwarding the Keystone XL PCNs.  Disclosure of this information would contribute little to the public’s understanding of government activities.  By contrast, such disclosure would constitute a non-trivial and not insubstantial invasion of government employees’ privacy interests.  

FOIA Exemption 7(F) permits the Government to withhold “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information, (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.”  5 U.S.C. §552(b)(7)(F).  Law enforcement includes enforcing both civil and criminal statutes, as well as those authorizing administrative proceedings, including national and homeland security-related Government activities.  The public release of detailed maps of the pipeline’s location, as well as the latitude and longitude beyond the second decimal place, would increase the ability of terrorists or criminals to assess those areas where the pipeline may be most vulnerable or where an attack on the pipeline may be expected to cause the most environmental damage or the most harm to human life.   For this reason, detailed pipeline information was redacted from the enclosed PCNs under Exemption 7(F).


Nebraska Preconstruction Notification Package

Montana Preconstruction Notification Package

South Dakota Preconstruction Notification Package