(Refiles to fix date in dateline)
By Patrick Rucker
WASHINGTON, June 6 The U.S. State Department on
Friday corrected several errors it made in a key study
evaluating the impact of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline,
including an understatement of how many people could be killed
on railroad tracks if the project were rejected and oil traffic
by rail increased.
The department said, however, these corrections had "no
impact" on the integrity of the conclusions of the January
report, which played down potential environmental consequences
of TransCanada Corp's Canada-to-Texas project.
The Obama administration has not yet decided whether to
approve the project.
The January report determined that blocking the
controversial pipeline could increase oil train traffic and lead
to an additional 49 injuries and six deaths per year, mostly by
using historical injury and fatality statistics for railways.
That finding was a small element of a broader examination of
how building the pipeline could impact climate change,
endangered species, quality of life and other issues.
But the report mistakenly used a forecast for three months
of expected accidents rather than full-year figures, officials
said. The correct estimate of deaths should be roughly four
times as large - between 18 and 30 fatalities per year.
Officials also revised a footnoted reference to how much
electricity would be needed to power pumping stations along the
route of the pipeline that would link Canada's oil sands region
to Texas refineries.
Running at something less than full capacity, the pumping
stations would not require as much electricity - and so tax
power plants less - than originally reported.
Revising that footnote has no impact on the State
Department's estimation of expected greenhouse gas emissions
tied to the pipeline, a spokesperson said.
"It is common practice to publish an errata sheet that notes
and corrects errors in voluminous technical documents such as
environmental impact statements," the State Department said.
"The Department has reviewed each of the items listed in the
errata sheet and has determined that they have no impact on the
integrity of, or the conclusions reached in, the (final
The State Department also published several dozen public
comments that had not been included in the roughly 2.5 million
it received and previously disclosed.
(Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Ros Krasny and Will