FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Water Management Board on Tuesday approved five water permit applications for Keystone XL pipeline construction.
The hearing was so contentious that it stretched into a dozen days over the course of four months as American Indian tribes and environmental groups argued against their approval. After holding a brief period for public comment in Fort Pierre Tuesday, the board met in a closed executive session before voting to approve the permits, with added requirements for real-time monitoring and weekly check-ins with the state.
Opponents can appeal the board's decision. They didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
TC Energy, the Canadian company building the pipeline, applied for permits to tap the Cheyenne, White and Bad rivers in South Dakota during construction. The water will be used for drilling to install pipe, build pump stations and control dust during construction. Two ranchers also applied for water permits to supply backup water to worker camps.