US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District Website

Keystone XL Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District (USACE) is extending the public notice comment period for federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties to provide comments on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Project (Project). Any interested party is invited to submit to USACE written facts or objections relative to the Project on or before the extended public notice expiration date of October 13, 2020. Comments can be mailed to: South Dakota Regulatory Office, 28563 Powerhouse Rd, Room 118, Pierre, SD 57501; emailed to: nwo-kxl-pn@usace.army.mil; or called in to: (402) 995-2027. The public notice issued on August 14, 2020 and more information on the Project can be found below.

 

Project Background

 

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project (KXL Project) is a proposal by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP (TransCanada, also known as TC Energy) to construct and operate a crude oil pipeline and related facilities at the United States-Canada border. The pipeline would continue into the U.S. 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. 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. This southern portion of the KXL pipeline, the Cushing Extension, was determined to have independent utility and is no longer part of the KXL Project. The currently proposed KXL Project would cross the states of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, all within the Corps’ Omaha District (Figure 1). KXL Project is anticipated to be 882 miles long within the continental U.S., with an initial capacity of 830,000 barrels per day.

 

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance

 

The Department of State (DOS) serves as the Lead Federal Agency for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance on the proposed KXL Project. For a detailed description of the alternatives considered and links to the final NEPA documents completed by DOS, visit https://www.state.gov/keystone-pipeline-xl/. 

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Authorities

 

Section 408

 

Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (Section 408) prohibits the use or alteration of a federal flood control or navigation project without prior permission from the Secretary of the Army or his designee. Because the KXL Project proposed to cross the Missouri River in Montana downstream of the Fort Peck spillway and would be trenched across federal property administered by USACE for the Fort Peck Project, a Section 408 permission was required. The Section 408 Decision was signed by COL John Hudson, Omaha District Commander, on January 21, 2020 and was incorporated into the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to grant a right-of-way and temporary use permit on federally-administered land for the KXL Project which was signed on January 22, 2020.

 

Section 10/404

 

In July 2020, the Omaha District Regulatory Office received a complete application from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for an Individual Permit (IP) under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344) for the proposed KXL Project. As a result, the Regulatory Office released a Public Notice seeking comments on those portions of the proposed project that fall under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344). This includes any impacts, temporary or permanent, to wetlands and waterbodies associated with construction of the pipeline (access roads, pipeline crossings, etc.). More detailed project information can be found in the Public Notice and Section 10/404 IP application.

 

Section 404/10 IP Public Hearings (2020)

 

The Omaha District will conduct a total of three virtual public hearings on September 28, 2020; September 29, 2020; and October 1, 2020. The public hearings are intended to provide each of the three states (Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska) equal opportunity for attendance of interested parties specific to those states. All three hearings will take place from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time). Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the public hearings will be conducted virtually via teleconference.

 

During the public hearings, interested parties will be afforded the opportunity to present their views, opinions and information on the proposed project. Those who wish to speak will be asked to provide their name to the AT&T Event Host and placed in a numbered queue. Phone lines will be opened and closed one at a time in sequential order. Each individual wishing to make verbal comments shall be given three minutes. Due to the expected number of attendees, we request that groups, where appropriate, consolidate comments and elect a representative speaker.

 

Each virtual public hearing will be recorded and transcribed by a third-party court reporter for the official record. The official record will remain open for 10 days following each hearing for the submission of written comments. These comments will be used to carefully weigh all relevant factors, including balancing our Nation’s historic and ecological resources with the need for reliable energy. The input received will be considered fully in the permit evaluation process and be used to inform the necessary National Environmental Policy Act analysis and documentation. 

 

The following provides information to access each of the public hearing teleconferences:

 

September 28, 2020 (4:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time)

Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 4691237#

 

Public Hearing Agenda (September 28, 2020)

 

Participants may join the teleconference 5 minutes prior to the start time of 4:00 p.m. Agency officials, including those from the Omaha District Montana Regulatory Office, will be on the call to hear public comments.

 

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will review the proposed project for state certification in accordance with the provisions of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The MDEQ will issue a separate public notice and will schedule a separate public hearing for the project. More information can be found at http://deq.mt.gov/Public/notices/wqnotices.

 

September 29, 2020 (4:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time)

Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 4691237#

 

Public Hearing Agenda (September 29, 2020)

 

Participants may join the teleconference 5 minutes prior to the start time of 4:00 p.m. Agency officials, including those from the Omaha District South Dakota Regulatory Office and the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources, will be on the call to hear public comments.

 

October 1, 2020 (4:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time)

Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 4691237#

 

Public Hearing Agenda (October 1, 2020)

 

Participants may join the teleconference 5 minutes prior to the start time of 4:00 p.m. Agency officials, including those from the Omaha District Nebraska Regulatory Office and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, will be on the call to hear public comments.

 

If technical assistance is needed during any of the teleconferences, please call the AT&T Help Desk at 888-796-6118.

 

To request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please call (402) 995-2027 or email nwo-kxl-pn@usace.army.mil at least 72 hours in advance of a public hearing teleconference.

 

Links:

·         Section 10/404 Public Notice

·         Section 10/404 IP Application

·         Section 10/404 Public Hearing Notice

 

How to Provide Comments

 

Comments on the Section 10/404 IP Permit Application, can be mailed to:

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

South Dakota Regulatory Office

28563 Powerhouse Road, Room 118

Pierre, SD 57501

 

Comments can also be emailed to nwo-kxl-pn@usace.army.mil.

 

In addition, comments can be left via voicemail by calling (402) 995-2027. When leaving a message, please clearly state your name and comment which will be added to the formal record.

 

Privacy Act Requirements

 

AUTHORITY: Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403); Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344)

PRINCIPAL PURPOSE(S): To provide a means for the maximum practicable public participation in the IP process under Section 10 and Section 404 for the proposed KXL Project.

ROUTINE USE(S): Information you provide will be available for public review or may be disclosed to members of the Department of Defense or other Government agencies who have a need for the information in performance of their official duties, and where use of such information is compatible with the purpose for which the information is collected.

DISCLOSURE: Providing contact information is voluntary; however, failure to furnish the requested information may prevent the Agency from being able to direct meeting notices or provide additional information to comments.

   

 (Figure 1)