ALBION, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska's hearings on the new proposed route for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline from Canada are drawing big crowds.

The Columbus Telegram reports that more than 160 people attended Wednesday's meeting in Albion.

Pipeline opponents objected to the original route through the Sandhills and the Ogallala aquifer, a massive groundwater supply. TransCanada proposed a new route that avoids the Sandhills.

Some landowners offered praise for the project. Nick Gasper says he thinks project opponents have used scare tactics, and he thinks the pipeline offers more benefits than drawbacks.

Pipeline opponents also attended the hearing. Ken Winston, with the Nebraska Sierra Club, says his group still worries about the pipeline possibly contaminating the aquifer.

These hearings are one of the first steps in the state's review of TransCanada's new proposed route.