LINCOLN — Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline marked the anniversary of a major pipeline leak in Michigan by protesting outside the governor’s mansion Wednesday.
The gathering called attention to the events of July 25, 2010, when a pipeline operated by Enbridge dumped about 1.2 million gallons of Canadian tar sands oil into a wetland that overflowed into the Kalamazoo River.
“The best thing we can do in remembering this disaster is to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” said Ken Winston, a spokesman for the Nebraska Sierra Club.
He and others called for Gov. Dave Heineman and state officials to do more to protect the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water for most Nebraskans and irrigation water for crops.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality released a “feedback report” last week to TransCanada, the company proposing the Keystone XL.
The report raised concerns about some portions of the pipeline that would cross shallow aquifers and sandy soils.
DEQ officials suggested the company look at adjusting the route to avoid those areas.
TransCanada is proposing to build a 36-inch, high-pressure pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company’s original route went through the Nebraska Sand Hills.
The company changed the route, under pressure from Nebraska officials and the public, to avoid the fragile Sand Hills. Nebraska environmental officials are reviewing the new route.
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