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Meade County extends building permit for pipeline prep work

 Meade County office building in Sturgis.
Meade County office building in Sturgis. (KOTA)
Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 9:08 PM CST
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Meade County Commission extended TC Energy's building permit with the county for prep work related to the Keystone XL pipeline.

TC Energy aims to build a workforce camp and pump station.

Part of the pipeline goes through Meade County, which lead the energy company to request a building permit in 2018.

Under the county's ordinance, those permits eventually expire, and TC Energy's original permit was only valid for one year.

After the pipeline was challenged in a Montana court, temporarily preventing construction, TC Energy requested an extension on those permits.

The Keystone XL pipeline itself is permitted by the state.

In a recent meeting, the commission granted the permit extension to TC Energy through April of 2020.

A Meade County Commissioner said the ordinance does provide for some extensions and a variance procedure.

"In this case, an extension had been requested last fall, and the initial feedback that staff gave the energy company was they could have the extension, there was a follow up email which an independent contractor said did not make it through saying there was a question as to whether we could grant the extension, the commission decided to honor that first email that said the extension would be granted," said Talbot Wieczorek, Meade County Commissioner.

Wieczorek said nothing was done differently in this case because the county ordinance is applied consistently.

In a written statement, TC Energy said, 'We are working through the necessary permitting processes with each of the counties we plan to construct, including Meade.'