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Court To Hear Appeal Over Federal Pipeline Permitting Decision

A photo of the Keystone Pipeline taken by a Flickr user in 2008.
SHANNONPATRICK17
/
FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)
A photo of the Keystone Pipeline taken by a Flickr user in 2008.

Court To Hear Appeal Over Federal Pipeline Permitting Decision

A federal judge in Montana will hear an appeal from U.S. attorneys on his decision to block a federal pipeline permitting program.Great Falls Federal Judge Brian Morris Tuesday granted the government’s request for an expedited appeal but kept in place a hold on projects using Nationwide Permit 12.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking Morris to reverse the cancellation of the permitting program used to approve oil and gas pipelines and other utility work through wetlands and streams across the nation.

A 2008 photo of construction on part of the the Keystone Pipeline.
Credit SHANNONPATRICK17 / FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)
/
FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)
A 2008 photo of construction on part of the the Keystone Pipeline.

Morris on Apr. 15 ruled that the Nationwide Permit 12 was reauthorized in 2017 without sufficient consideration of its potential environmental harm.

Federal attorneys said Monday that the ruling would hamper thousands of construction projects overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That includes the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which began construction this month.

Environmentalists say the permit allows projects to skirt water protection laws and ignores the cumulative harm caused by thousands of stream and wetlands crossings.

Morris requested all parties submit their briefings by May 8.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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