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Becky Bond / NoKXL / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Officials from a South Dakota county secured more jail cells to prepare for potential protests of the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.

Last month, the Butte County Commission in South Dakota approved an agreement to use Faulk County jails for $85 per day per detainee, should the demonstrations go ahead and if protestors are arrested. Faulk County is roughly 270 miles east of Butte County.

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Light Brigading / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Jeff Turrentine

Was 2018 a tough year for the environment? Absolutely. But were there bright spots and victories among the attacks on biodiversity, climate and public health? Of course there were. Here are just a few, in case you're feeling blue about the state of our only planet.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Demonstrators march to the Federal Building in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order fast-tracking the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, in Los Angeles on Feb. 5, 2017. MARK RALSTON / AFP / Getty Images

Of the many Obama-era environmental decisions that President Donald Trump reversed once he took office, one of the most painful was his move to re-approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta's tar sands through Montana to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines leading to the Gulf Coast.

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An activist adjusts his hat while protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline during the Native Nations Rise protest on March 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The KXL has been at the center of a contentious fight for a decade. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Construction on the long-delayed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline is planned for 2019, developer TransCanada said Monday.

"Keystone XL has undergone years of extensive environmental review by federal and state regulators," TransCanada spokesman Matthew John told Omaha World-Herald. "All of these evaluations show that Keystone XL can be built safely and with minimal impact to the environment."

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The Keystone XL pipeline would pass through Montana as it transports crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Andrew Burton / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Two indigenous groups are suing the Trump administration in an attempt to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, NPR reported Monday.

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The Keystone XL pipeline at one point was going to run through the sensitive Sand Hills areas of Nebraska west of Butte. The pipeline was rerouted around the Sand Hills, but still under the Niobrara River area pictured here on July 4, 2012. Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post via Getty Images

TransCanada's long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline was dealt another setback after a federal judge in Montana ruled Wednesday that the Trump State Department must conduct a robust environmental review of the alternative pipeline route through Nebraska.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris sided with environmentalists, landowners and tribal plaintiffs in their challenge to the Trump administration. Pipeline opponents argued that the State Department's approval of the KXL was based on an outdated Environmental Impact Statement from 2014 of the original route, and accused the administration of trying to short-cut the permitting process.

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350.org's No KeyStone XL Washington, DC march. John Duffy / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Environmentalists spoke out against President Donald Trump's State Department after it found "no significant environmental impacts" in its review of TransCanada's long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.

The alternative route approved by Nebraska regulators in November would have "minor to moderate" impacts from its construction and operation, according to the 300-page draft report released Monday. It said the route would not have a major impact on the state's water resources, soils or wildlife. It may cause minor impacts on cultural resources such as Native American graves.

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By Jessica Corbett

In a move that could challenge the proposed path of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline—and acknowledges the U.S. government's long history of abusing Native Americans and forcing them off their lands—a Nebraska farm couple has returned a portion of ancestral land to the Ponca Tribe.

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A demonstration against the Keystone XL pipeline. Josh Lopez / CC BY 2.0

The South Dakota Supreme Court disappointed an attempt by Native American tribes and state activists to block the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday, ruling that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear their appeal, The Associated Press reported.

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Margot Kidder, the iconic actress who passed away Sunday at age 69, was most famous for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman films as an intrepid journalist who didn't let her lack of superpowers stop her from fighting for what she believed in. In real life, Kidder was similarly heroic in her commitment to protecting the environment.

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A well operated by Anadarko Minerals Inc. spilled a "substantial" amount of oil in the central region of the Fort Peck Reservation in northeast Montana, according to local media.

An estimated 600 barrels of oil and 90,000 barrels of brine (production water) leaked from the well, the Glasgow Courier reported, citing officials with the reservation's Office of Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Land Management.

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