Survey work to begin on pipeline route
TransCanada officials plan to meet with landowners along its pipeline route in three states, including Nebraska, beginning this week.
Robynn Tysver, a spokeswoman for TransCanada, said Monday that company officials will be in Nebraska, including Madison County this week, to begin surveys with landowners with property along the proposed route.
The company will not go on any land without permission, and will provide compensation for the survey work being done.
Next week, the company will conduct air surveys by helicopter along the proposed 280 miles in the Nebraska, she said.
Tysver said all landowners will get an agent assigned to them to see if there are any special interests that need to be considered and to minimize disruptions to the land.
All landowners will have at least 24 hours’ notice and no one’s land will be surveyed without permission, she said.
The land surveys will consist of culture, biological and civil aspects.
Culture takes into account such things as history, while biological includes plants and anything living. Civil indicates the exact location of objects, such as the center of a possible route or easements.
There also will be bonuses provided to landowners for early easement signings, she said.
The company will compensate landowners for any crop damage and right of way during construction, right from the first year, Tysver said.
The surveys are being completed with hopes that construction will begin in 2019 in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana. All three states have permits now for construction, she said.
The surveys are critical to design and minimizing environmental impact.
The pipeline still faces obstacles, including Nebraska landowners who have challenged the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s decision to approve an alternative route through Nebraska, including Madison County.
The possibility of the alternative route into Madison County was first mentioned by company officials to the Madison County board of commissioners at a meeting in October 2015.
At that time, the alternative route for the pipeline was projected to cross 43 miles of the county.
If completed, the pipeline would carry oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing pump station in Steele City. From there it would continue through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas until it reaches Gulf Coast refineries.