EPA announces ‘environmental objections’ to Keystone XL

June 7, 2011

The US Environmental Protection Agency today yesterday  sent a letter to the State Dept., in response to the latter’s supplemental environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

(The supplemental was issued after the EPA criticized the first EIS as inadequate. But the EPA says that State again did not provide sufficient analysis in its supplemental EIS.)  In yesterday’s letter, the EPA said that it has “environmental objections” to the Keystone XL project.

(The “environmental objections” rating is explained on page 8 of the letter — out of 4 possible rankings, this is the second-most negative and requires either “corrective measures” or “alternative actions” to be taken.)

The EPA says it has concerns about pipeline safety and spills, impacts on nearby communities, and greenhouse gas emissions, among others.

The full letter is here: keystone-xl-project-epa-comment-letter-20110125


Environmentalists were encouraged by the letter:

“With this rating, the EPA is standing up for the people who would be hurt by the Keystone XL pipeline, including Midwest farmers and low-income people around Texas refineries,” said Alex Moore, dirty fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “All eyes are on Secretary of State Clinton. Will she comply with the law and ensure that these impacts are studied or not?”

Meanwhile, Andrew Leach argues at the Globe and Mail’s website that the pipeline’s potential impact on greenhouse gas emissions is being overstated.


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