Montanans will get a chance next week to comment on the recently completed draft environmental impact statement for TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline project.
Keystone XL will traverse 283 miles of the eastern part of the state, crossing private and public lands between its entrance at the Port of Morgan on the Canadian border and its exit south of Baker into South Dakota.
The pipeline has raised both environmental concerns and the promise of dropping millions of dollars in taxes.
The project is designed to carry up to 900,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The 1,980 miles of new pipeline will cost an estimated $7.2 billion, of which about $1 billion will be spent on the Montana portion.
To view the impact statement online, go to www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov.
The U.S. Department of State, which has taken the lead in the project because of its cross-border scope, has set six public comment meetings in Montana -- one in each of the counties the pipeline will cross.
The first will be Monday, May 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Great Northern Hotel in Malta. It will be followed by a meeting May 18 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Cottonwood Inn and Suites in Glasgow. That night, from 7 to 9 p.m., comments will be heard at Terry High School in Terry.
On May 19, a meeting is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. at Schmidt's Super Valu in Circle. That night, from 7 to 9 p.m., comments will be taken at Dawson Community College in Glendive.
The final meeting is planned for May 20, from noon to 2 p.m. at Thee Garage and Steakhouse in Baker.
Written comments are due by June 16. Comments can be submitted online at www.keystonepipeline-x1.state.gov.
Comments can also be mailed to Elizabeth Orlando, Keystone XL Project manager, U.S. Department of State, OES/ENV Room 2657, Washington, D.C., 20520. Comments can be faxed to Orlando at 202-647-1052.
Copyright (c) 2010, Billings Gazette, Mont. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.