PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There is enough water available from the White and Bad rivers for the Keystone XL oil pipeline to be built through western South Dakota, a witness said Tuesday.
But Jung-Hoe Hopwood acknowledged he hadn’t considered tribal water rights, didn’t know how many tribes were in South Dakota and didn’t know if any tribes were farther downstream.
“No, I only went down to the Missouri River,” he told Jennifer Baker. She is a lawyer for the Yankton Sioux Tribe, whose lands in southeastern South Dakota are downstream on the Missouri and border a stretch of the river.
A variety of tribal and environment organizations and several people have formally intervened, trying to block the permits.
Hopwood, who works for EXP Consulting of Tallahassee, Florida, said he has been involved since 2009 on projects for what previously was TransCanada and now is TC Energy.
The company seeks construction permits from the South Dakota Water Management Board for KXL’s segment through western South Dakota.
Hopwood said he hadn’t considered any data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The federal agency manages the six major dams on the Missouri River including four in South Dakota.
He was the main witness for the project Tuesday. It was the sixth day of testimony. Witnesses are scheduled through Friday.
The Keystone XL route would carry crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands across the Canada-U.S. border through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect with an existing network at Steele City.