In mid-May, two trains went off the tracks, both carrying hazardous material, creating an incredible risk to our environment and communities. In Iowa, following the derailment of 47 cars, a town of 3,000 people was forced to evacuate because the accident posed a risk to them and their community.

While accidents happen, it is necessary to take all steps possible to reduce the risk of incidents and the threat from carrying dangerous material on railways.

This is why the Line 3 Replacement Project is so important. Once complete, the new pipeline will allow for increased safety measures for our environment by fixing the current wear and tear of the 60-year-old pipe, which has vulnerabilities.

But there is an additional safety measure that is often overlooked. The new Line 3 pipeline will more than double the capacity of oil that is carried, allowing for more oil to be taken off trucks and trains. This will mean removing the need to carry oil by means that put off greater carbon emissions — while also reducing the amount of hazardous material transported on the highway near you or on the railway through your town.

At the end of the day, pipelines are the safest way to transport oil for a multitude of reasons, and the recent train derailments highlight just how important the Line 3 project is for our state and our communities.

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J. John Cyrus

Tamarack, Minnesota

The writer is mayor of Tamarack.

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