Keystone XL’s southern leg gets approval

Army Corps grants TransCanada permit for 485-mile stretch of pipeline.

Environmentalists hoping to stall construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline were dealt a crushing blow as the federal government granted approval for the project’s southern leg on July 27.

TransCanada received the last of three permits from the Army Corps of Engineers it needed to begin construction on the southernmost 485-mile stretch of pipeline, now known as the Gulf Coast project, according to The Washington Post. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth have long fought the project—which would deliver tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast—based on potential damage to wetlands and rivers and are appealing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to overrule the Army Corps under the Clean Water Act.

The 36-inch pipeline is set to run across 654 “aquatic features.”