On Tuesday, Nebraska Governor Heineman approved the new Keystone XL Pipeline route that avoids the Nebraska Sandhills.
The recent evaluation by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality indicated that the environmental impacts of a pipeline rupture would be minimal. According to the report, any contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer would remain local. Nebraskan farmers and ranchers, along with environmental activists, dispute the findings and asked for a more detailed evaluation by a third party before any decisions were made.
According to the governor, TransCanada has agreed to carry $200 million in insurance to cover the costs of any spill in Nebraska occurring because of the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition, TransCanada has agreed to fifty-seven special conditions that should make the pipeline safer than ordinary pipelines.
Sandhill cranes in Nebraska’s Platte River photo via Shutterstock