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Environmental groups file new lawsuit to block proposed Keystone XL pipeline

Posted: 12:30 PM, Jul 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-02 13:47:38-04

GREAT FALLS – A coalition of environmental groups has filed another federal lawsuit to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline arguing the federal government failed to properly evaluate the project’s impact on nearby waterways.

The Billings-based  Northern Plains Resource Council  joined the  Sierra Club  and four other environmental groups in the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls.

The environmental groups are seeking  to block a federal permit  granted in March that the Trump administration had argued was not subject to court review.

The plaintiffs argue the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline crosses hundreds of rivers, streams and wetlands in several states — which should trigger an evaluation of environmental impacts.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s because the arguments aren’t new. Morris sided with environmentalists in late 2018 that the administration had failed to properly evaluate the project, essentially killing that permit effort.

Morris only lifted his injunction against construction after the Trump administration pulled the old permit in favor of the new one. Morris said the injunction was “moot.”

Developer  TC Energy , formerly known as TransCanada Corp., is seeking to build the pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, through Montana and South Dakota, before connecting to an existing line in Nebraska.