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TransCanada promising environmental safety if Keystone XL pipeline is approved

TransCanada, owners of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, promised Nebraska state legislators this week to take additional steps to protect environmental safety if the project is approved by the federal government.

The Canadian pipeline company made several guarantees to Nebraska lawmakers, including a $100 million bond to ensure adequate funds to clean up after any oil spills, as the state’s legislature considered holding a special session to consider legislation to force the company to change Keystone’s route…

In a letter to the Speaker of the Nebraska legislature, Sen. Mike Flood, TransCanada also offered to build a concrete containment ditch around the pipeline where it cross the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills area, to locate a rapid spill-response team in the Sand Hills, to encase the pipeline with an additional protective coating in certain areas, to provide free water testing to nearby land owners and to pay for state regulators to hire a special public liaison officer to handle concerns about the pipeline.

In the event of a major spill, $100 million would likely only be a fraction of the cost of cleanup. Last year’s spill of nearly a million gallons of tar sands oil in Calhoun County is expected to cost at least $700 million to clean — and will still leave a good deal of oil in the environment.

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