Nebraska and TransCanada Corp reached a deal on Monday that will see the state pay for environmental studies on a new route for the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline that steers clear of the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region and the Ogallala aquifer.

State legislators will vote on the deal on Tuesday, Mike Flood, the legislature's speaker said.

TransCanada is willing to consider a route that sites the pipeline out of the Sand Hills, Flood said. This is our land. These are our people. We will pay for this. It's the right thing to do.

Terry Cunha, a spokesman for TransCanada declined to comment on the specifics of the deal, saying the company planned to issue a news release. However he said in an email that the agreement does not specify a new route for the controversial pipeline.

The U.S. State Department ordered the company last week to find a new route for the line that avoids the Sand Hills.

(Reporting by Michael Avok, writing by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson)