PSC likely to permit Keystone pipeline next ThursdayThe controversial TransCanada Keystone Pipeline should get its final go-ahead in North Dakota next Thursday.
By: Janell Cole, N.D. Capitol Bureau
BISMARCK — The controversial TransCanada Keystone Pipeline should get its final go-ahead in North Dakota next Thursday.
During a work session this morning, the Public Service Commission set a special meeting for 2 p.m. Feb. 21 to vote on an order permitting the pipeline route through eastern North Dakota.
Commissioner Kevin Cramer emphasized that the order will includes many conditions the company must meet before it can start construction. For instance, TransCanada must submit an emergency response plan that the PSC considers acceptable before the pipe can be put in.
The company originally hoped the North Dakota section of the route would be approved three months ago and recently said the delay has caused them to postpone work in the state that precedes actual construction.
The line is to enter the state near Walhalla and exit near Cogswell, transporting crude oil from northern Alberta to refineries in Illinois.
Some North Dakota landowners have contested the proposed route, saying the pipeline endangers aquifers and Lake Ashtabula, which supply domestic water to farms and cities.
Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Jamestown Sun