Agency: Keystone XL corridor avoids Sandhills

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska environmental regulators say a new proposed corridor for the Keystone XL pipeline still crosses areas of fragile, sandy soil, even though it avoids what they defined as the Sandhills.

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. Officials say most of the aquifers lie near the town of Stuart.

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.

The pipeline is expected to carry Canadian crude oil through Nebraska on its way to Texas refineries. The report is part of an effort to find a route that avoids environmentally sensitive areas.