Thursday, November 12, 2009

South Dakota landowners along Keystone XL want bonds as protection

PIERRE - Some landowners want the state Public Utilities Commission to require TransCanada to post additional bonds for the company’s proposed XL oil pipeline in western South Dakota.
The bonds would serve as financial protection against damages from oil spills and for removal of the XL pipeline if the company abandons it in the future.
Paul Seamans of rural Draper and David Niemi of rural Buffalo were among those who called for the bonding during a public-input meeting Nov. 3 held by the PUC as part of a permit hearing.
Seamans, Niemi and others also called for limits on the time which TransCanada can hold the easement.
State law doesn’t require spill and abandonment bonds for pipelines. But bonds are required for surface mines in South Dakota.
The PUC is considering a $15.6 million road-damage bond as a permit condition for the XL project. TransCanada posted a $12 million bond for roads, as a condition of the PUC permit for its Keystone pipeline being built down the James River Valley.
PUC lawyer Kara Semmler said counties and TransCanada have been working out road issues associated with the Keystone construction. She said there have been no claims so far against the $12 million. “It is intact,” she said.

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