GREAT FALLS – A Montana federal judge has ruled that the Keystone pipeline’s new approved route in the state of Nebraska requires a full environmental review.
This week’s ruling comes just two weeks after the U.S. State Department said TransCanada’s alternate route had been found to be environmentally sound.
In a 13-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled in favor of the Indigenous Environmental Network, one of many groups challenging the pipeline project.
According to The Hill, a Washington D.C.based online newspaper, Morris determined that the route reviewed in the submitted Environmental Impact Statement is different from the new route that was recently approved by the Nebraska Public Service Commission..
In his ruling, Judge Morris pointed out that the Mainline Alternative Route in Nebraska crosses five different counties, different bodies of water and is longer than what was originally proposed.
Judge Morris says the state of Nebraska has an obligation to analyze new information relevant to the environmental impacts of its decision.
TransCanada, the Canadian firm proposing the pipeline, and the state of Nebraska have yet to respond to the judge’s ruling, except to say they’re reviewing the decision.