Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.
The filing from Calgary-based TC Energy, the pipeliner formerly known as TransCanada, “is still dependent on receipt of a grant of right-of-way and temporary use permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and necessary federal land authorizations,” The Canadian Press reports.
“In February, TC Energy intends to begin mobilizing heavy construction equipment to sites designated for worker camps and pipeline storage yards in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska,” the filing states. “TC Energy further plans to commence tree-felling activity with landowners’ consent in certain areas in South Dakota.”
The company is also scheduling work on sections of the pipeline in Montana and South Dakota for this year and next.
TC Energy “has been reluctant to give specific construction timelines for the oil export pipeline that was effectively mothballed by the Obama administration in 2014 and has a become a flashpoint for the climate change clash between environmentalists and the [fossil] energy industry,” CP writes. Although Donald Trump signed orders in 2017 and 2019 aimed at clearing a path for the project, “it has been held up by various state court challenges and injunctions ever since.”