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Tribes press judge to halt US-Canada pipeline as work starts

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 16 April 2020
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — American Indian tribes and environmental groups are pressuring a federal judge to shut down work on the disputed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Nebraska less than two weeks after it started, because of fears over workers spreading the coronavirus and worries about a future spill.

Pipeline sponsor TC Energy is rushing ahead amid the pandemic as it tries to complete significant work on the pipeline to make it harder to stop, attorneys for several tribes and groups said in court documents ahead of a Thursday teleconference hearing to decide if the construction should be halted.

They warned that plans to build construction camps housing up to 1,000 workers each “pose serious, immediate and irreparable health risks to the tribes during the COVID-19 pandemic."

“The healthcare systems in tribal and rural communities are already strained to provide basic healthcare services, much less the critical emergency services necessary to responded to an outbreak of COVID-19," said lawyers for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and Fort Belknap tribes in Montana.

President Donald Trump is a champion of the $8 billion project and gave it a presidential authorization in a bid to circumvent a 2018 court ruling that had blocked it.

The same judge who made that ruling will preside over the hearing to decide if construction should be stopped while the court considers if Trump's authorization was legal.

Late Wednesday, Morris handed another setback to TC Energy with a ruling that invalidated a key U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clean water permit. The so-called nationwide permit applied to a broad range of projects including Keystone XL, and is needed to so the pipeline can cross rivers, streams and other waterways.

Keystone XL would have hundreds of...
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News video: US Judge Cancels Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

US Judge Cancels Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline 01:11

US Judge Cancels Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline Judge Brian Morris canceled a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that’s expected to stretch from Canada to Nebraska. Judge Morris said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider effects on endangered species living in rivers...

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Tribes press judge to halt US-Canada pipeline as work starts

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — American Indian tribes and environmental groups are pressuring a federal judge to shut down work on the disputed Keystone XL pipeline...
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