PIERRE, SD – The South Dakota Water Management Board has approved five water permit applications for Keystone XL pipeline construction.
Keystone XL applied to draw water from the Cheyenne, White and Bad rivers in western South Dakota. The water will be used for drilling to install pipe, build pump stations and control dust during construction.
Two ranchers also applied for water permits to supply backup water to worker camps.
TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, plans to build the pipeline to carry crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, across the Canada-U.S. border through Montana, South Dakota and most of Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing network at Steele City.
The hearing was so contentious that it stretched into a dozen days over the course of four months as American Indian tribes and environmental groups argued against their approval.
The board allowed brief public comment Tuesday before approving the permits in a closed-door executive session with added requirements for real-time monitoring and weekly check-ins with the state.
Opponents may appeal the board’s decision.
An expert overseeing the pipeline’s construction said building should begin this summer. When completed, Keystone XL would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day in a 1,184-mile line from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. In Nebraska, it would connect with other lines that go to Gulf Coast Refineries.