Keystone XL comments won't be made public, State Department says

Posted: Mar 27, 2013

Written by

John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News
Keystone XL protest

When the State Department hired a contractor to produce the latest environmental impact statement for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, it asked for a Web-based electronic docket to record public comments as they flowed in each day. Thousands of comments are expected to be filed by people and businesses eager to influence the outcome of the intense international debate over the project.

But the public will not find it easy to examine these documents.

A summary of the comments will be included in the final version of the environmental impact statement when it is released, said Imani J. Esparza of the Office of Policy and Public Outreach in State's bureau of oceans, environment and science.

But the only way to see the comments themselves is by filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, a process that can take so long that the Keystone debate could be over before the documents are made available.

The public will not be able to access the full electronic docket on line.

Learn more about, and comment on the Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement.

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