Reader's View: Endorsement due for Line 3 document
This year has been marked by robust debates about many natural resources-based industries. Today, the culmination of months of public input on the Line 3 Replacement Project will occur in the chambers of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The commission is slated to make a decision on the adequacy of the replacement project's final environmental impact statement.
Many people across the state of Minnesota anxiously await the more than $2 billion in economic impact the project promises and the $334 million in payroll for the skilled workers employed during construction. The economic benefits of this project are well-documented and are expected to include an additional $19.5 million annually in property taxes, a nearly 66 percent increase to the more than $30 million Enbridge already pays each year in property taxes.
Last month, an administrative law judge stated that the project's final environmental impact statement "adequately presents methods by which adverse environmental impacts can be mitigated." The judge recommended the Public Utilities Commission deem the document adequate.
It is my belief the document addresses all issues in the scoping document and provides thorough responses to issues identified during the comment period for the draft environmental impact statement. I further believe the final statement meets the state of Minnesota's regulatory requirements, and, therefore, the utilities commission should deem the document adequate.
More than four years of studies have resulted in a robust and thorough document. I hope the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will do its public duty with a fair assessment, moving the project closer in the environmental review process required by law before construction begins.
The writer is an owner of and the vice president of marketing and sales for BendTec, Inc.