EPA Letter Raised Concerns about Keystone XL Through Texas

Map by the Department of State

Where the Keystone XL pipeline would go through Texas.

UPDATED

An official with the EPA has told StateImpact Texas that the route of the pipeline has changed since the EPA letter was sent in November.

Under the new route the EPA will not be involved in the review.

EARLIER

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter late last year raising concerns that the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline might require more stringent permitting than planned by the Army Corp of Engineers, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Here’s more from their report:

An official in the EPA’s region that oversees Texas wrote a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers saying 61 water crossings near Galveston are too large for the broad permits being pursued.

The official wants an environmental review that includes a public comment period.

The letter, written in November, was released Thursday. The corps says it’s reviewing TransCanada’s permit request. This is the latest obstacle for a controversial pipeline project that has created tensions between the U.S. and Canada.

If the letter was sent in November, that would mean it went out before President Obama promised to expedite permitting of the pipeline project this March. The project would bring oil, much of it from the tar sands of Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The report comes on the heels of an Associated Press analysis showing that the EPA has actually been more lax in enforcement of oil and gas producers under the Obama Administration than it was under George W. Bush.

StateImpact Texas called the EPA’s Region 6 office and was told to call EPA’s media office in D.C. We were then forwarded to the EPA’s Press Secretary’s Office. We currently have a request in at that office for comment and a copy of the letter.

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