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TransCanada asks judge who blocked Keystone pipeline to allow ‘pre-construction’ work

GREAT FALLS- The company behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline wants a federal judge in Montana to change his order blocking the project to allow for pre-construction work to continue.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls has set a telephone status call for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the request from TransCanada Corp.

On Nov. 8, Morris blocked TransCanada’s permit for the project, ruling the Trump administration had not fully considered the environmental effects of the proposed pipeline.

The company is seeking to build a pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, through eastern Montana, and connecting to an existing pipeline in Nebraska. The project has met with heavy opposition from environmental groups and been delayed for years.

In the most recent action, Morris sided with a coalition of environmental groups in their lawsuit to block the project.

TransCanada attorneys plan to ask Morris to amend his order in hopes the judge will rule that his injunction does not apply to activities such as finalizing contracts, purchasing materials, or doing land surveys.

Related: Keystone XL Pipeline begins moving into Montana

Jay Kohn

Jay Kohn

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