BELTRAMI COUNTY, Minn. — With construction of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement seemingly imminent after recently approved permits, the Red Lake and White Earth Nations filed a motion Nov. 25 with the Public Utilities Commission to expedite a stay of its Line 3 route permit, according to a news release. The tribes cited COVID-19 infection concerns as reason for doing so.

The legal motion states “a stay is necessary to protect the Minnesota Courts of Appeals Jurisdiction” process, and cites additional threats of irreparable harm to the tribes and others that will be caused by construction during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

In recent weeks, Enbridge has been granted permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Monday, Nov. 30, the MPCA approved a final construction stormwater permit for the proposed 340-mile pipeline replacing the existing line.

The stay motion concludes that if the PUC allows construction to proceed before the court rules, it will limit and lessen the Appellate Court’s jurisdiction in the Line 3 matter — and render appeals by the tribes and others moot.

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