Enbridge Line 3 environmental review will be late
The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Monday that it will take a few more weeks to conduct the draft environmental review of Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 replacement oil pipeline. The draft document, in the works for more than a year, ha...
The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Monday that it will take a few more weeks to conduct the draft environmental review of Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 replacement oil pipeline.
The draft document, in the works for more than a year, had been tentatively scheduled for public release on April 3, but the state says that won't happen until at least May 15.
Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership has applied for a certificate of need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct and operate the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project. The Commerce Department is conducting the environmental review with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
"The proposed Line 3 project presents significant issues," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, in a statement. "Additional time allows the department to prepare a thorough draft environmental impact statement that provides effective, meaningful public review and comment. The Public Utilities Commission has an important decision to make for Minnesota, and the Commerce Department is committed to providing the best information possible for them to use in the decision-making process."
The Line 3 Replacement Project would do just that - replace an old pipeline that the company says is nearing the end of its practical life moving Canadian oil into the U.S. The company announced the $7.5 billion project in 2014 and had hoped to have it under construction by now. The 1,031-mile Pipeline No. 3 would replace the company's 1968-vintage Line 3 and would bring more Canadian tar sands crude oil into the U.S.
Enbridge proposes following the existing Line 3 from the Minnesota-North Dakota border to Clearbrook and then across about 337 miles of Minnesota to the company's major terminal and storage hub in Superior.
Rothman said the extra weeks for the review time will be used for consultation with tribal governments, additional information gathering, coordination with stakeholders and technical analysis. After the draft is released the document will see at least 22 public information meetings, one in each county through which a route is proposed. The meetings will provide the opportunity for public participation and comment. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will use those comments to decide on Enbridge's certificate of need, whether Minnesota needs the project, and route permit that decides where the pipeline would go if needed.