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Keystone XL Route Still Crosses Fragile, Sandy Soil Areas, Nebraska Regulators Say

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In this April 19, 2012 file photo, a truck travels along highway 14, several miles north of Neligh, Neb. near the proposed new route for the Keystone XL pipeline. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) | AP

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska environmental regulators say a new proposed corridor for TransCanada Corp.'s 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.

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