agriculture * food * energy * environment
As drought in Nebraska spreads and precious water from the Ogallala Aquifer is helping crop and livestock production, plans continue for a pipeline that could threaten the very source of that water that many farmers and ranchers are now so desperately depending on.
According to Bold Nebraska, a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality report released on Tuesday found that the proposed route for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline still passes through a number of sensitive eco-regions, including the Ogallala Aquifer and sandy soils with a low water table.
Bold Nebraska reports that “Though the agency notes that it does not have the legal authority to mandate a route change, it does encourage TransCanada to consider altering the route to avoid these regions.”
Bold Nebraska quoted an Associated Press story that reported: “A report released Tuesday says the 2,000-foot-wide corridor runs through land that could erode, and passes near unconfined aquifers that supply drinking water to residents and livestock.
“Regulators say pipeline developer TransCanada should carefully consider a route that avoids the aquifers, and document what safety precautions the company takes if doing so is not possible.”
A new map, based on University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources soil and water maps and reviewed by Dr. John Gates, clearly demonstrates that the proposed tar sands pipeline route will pass through soils formed in dominantly sandy materials—the same type of soil found in the Sand Hills Region—and the Ogallala Aquifer.”