The $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline project has moved closer to construction, but it still faces court challenges. The South Dakota Water Management Board has approved five water permit applications for the pipeline construction.

The Trump administration is approving a right-of-way allowing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land.

The hearing was so contentious that it stretched into a dozen days over the course of four months as American Indian tribes and environmental groups argued against their approval.

Federal officials told The Associated Press that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt would sign the approval for about 45 miles of the line's route Wednesday.

A lawsuit challenging the pipeline is pending before a federal judge in Montana who has previously ruled against the project.

The 1,200-mile pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from western Canada to U.S. refineries.

How long has this project been in the news? It was first proposed in 2008. Facing hurdles from economic development to curbing the fossil fuel emissions. And, the controversy of climate change. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter.

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