The new Keystone XL route crosses the aquifer the majority of the study area except for 10 miles and still will cross areas of shallow groundwater.

TransCanada’s own environmental study filed with the U.S. State Department admits to an expected spill rate and undetected leaks. The study said landowners should do regular checks to spot these undetected leaks.

A letter sent to a well-drilling contractor and written by a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality employee, dated April 16, 2012, describes “institutional controls” related to environmental contamination. The DEQ employee states: “It’s not economically feasible or technically practicable to remove all the contamination" and “many of these sites have contaminated groundwater associated with them. The actual source area may be small, but some groundwater plumes in Nebraska extend for three or four miles off-site. Contaminated groundwater in these areas is a threat to people drinking the water.”

I believe it is imperative that DEQ provide information to the public about potential contamination plumes from the Keystone XL and the related threat to people drinking groundwater. Who is going to be responsible for the many rural wells threatened by contamination from the expected, unknown leaks?

People can take action by posting comments to DEQ, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality: ecmp.nebraska.gov/deq-seis, as well as the State Department project website for Keystone XL, under the "contact information" link: www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov.

Cindy Myers, Stuart

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Interactivity editor, Lincoln Journal Star

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