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    An activist holds up a sign outside the State Department during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 7, 2014 in Washington

    Watchdog: US Federal Judge Approves Lawsuit Challenging Keystone XL Pipeline

    © AFP 2017/ Brendan SMIALOWSKI
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    The US federal judge’s decision comes a week after a leak of 200,000 gallons of oil occurred in the existing Keystone XL pipeline system in the US state of South Dakota. Despite the leak, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted on Monday to approve an alternative construction route instead of pipeline developer TransCanada’s preferred one.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and three other agencies  have filed the lawsuit challenging the US State Department's environmental review of the 1,179-mile proposed pipeline.

    The environmental watchdogs have claimed that the State Department's environmental impact assessment is outdated and inadequate, the release said.

    Meantime, a US federal judge granted on Wednesday  permission to allow a lawsuit by a coalition of environmental groups to proceed against President Donald Trump's approval of a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a press release.

    "A federal judge ruled today that a lawsuit brought by environmental and landowner groups over the Trump administration's approval of the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline can proceed," the release said.

    The Trump administration and TransCanada argued that after the initial approval of the pipeline, the US federal government is not required to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act, the release explained, adding that both have attempted to have the lawsuit terminated.

    In March, the State Department issued a permit for TransCanada to construct the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline immediately after Trump approved the pipeline deal. One last section of the entire Keystone pipeline project remains to be constructed.

    Former President Barack Obama had previously blocked the project in 2015.

    Related:

    Watchdog: Keystone XL Pipeline Threatens Public Health and Environment
    Nebraska Approves TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline Construction
    Keystone Oil Spill Exposes Flaws in US Environmental Assessment
    Major Oil Leak in Keystone Pipeline; Has Wikileaks Lost Credibility?
    More Than 200,000 Gallons of Oil Spills From Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota
    Tags:
    oil, project, pipeline, oil spill, lawsuit, construction, environment, Keystone XL Pipeline, Sierra Club, TransCanada Corporation, State Department, Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States, Nebraska
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