Pipelines

A pipeline route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) is required for the construction of certain pipelines (Minnesota Statute 216G).  The Commission has jurisdiction over pipelines with a diameter of six inches or more that are designed to transport hazardous liquids like crude petroleum, and those that are designed to carry natural gas and be operated at a pressure of more than 275 pounds per square inch.  However, the Commission's authority does not apply to interstate natural gas pipelines regulated under the federal Natural Gas Act and to pipeline owners or operators who are defined as a natural gas public utility under Minnesota Statute 216B.02.  The rules for the administration of pipeline route permits are found in Minnesota Rules Chapter 7852.

Open Projects

Open projects are projects currently in the permitting process. They are listed here chronologically, most recent projects first. To see all projects or to search for a project by location or type, see the project database

Docket Number Project Name Description
14-320
A Comparative Environmental Review of the Proposed Minnesota Pipe Line Reliability Project and the Alternatives Identified in the Certificate of Need Application
13-978
Minnesota Power is proposing to construct an approximate 5,900-foot-long, 10.75-inch-outside diamter, high pressure natural gas pipeline from a Northern Natural Gas pipeline to its Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes in St. Louis County
13-474
North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC (NDPC) is proposing to develop a new crude oil pipeline and associated facilities known as the Sandpiper Project to increase crude oil transportation services from North Dakota to refineries in the the U.S. Midwest and eastern Canada. The Sandpiper Project route would extend from NDPC's Beaver Lodge Station south of Tioga, North Dakota, to the Superior Terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

Full Review

The permitting process to be followed for a pipeline route permit depends on the size and type of the pipeline. The full review process is applicable to pipeline projects expected to have significant environmental impacts.  The applicant must identify a preferred route.  The Department of Commerce, Energy Facility Permitting unit holds public information meetings and solicits comments on the proposed pipeline project. The Commission considers alternate routes, orders a comparative environmental analysis of routes, and orders a contested case hearing.  A contested case hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge.  The Commission has up to nine months from the time the application is accepted to complete the process and make a decision on the permit.  Minn. Rules 7852 | Full Review Flowchart.

Partial Exemption Review

The partial exemption review process is applicable to relatively smaller pipeline projects that are not expected to have significant environmental impacts.  Applicants must apply for the partial exemption process.  The Department of Commerce, Energy Facility Permitting unit holds public information meetings and solicits comments on the proposed pipeline project.  The Commission has up to 90 days from the time the application is accepted to grant or deny the partial exemption.  If the exemption is granted, the Commission must issue a pipeline route permit.  Minn. Rules 7852 | Partial Exemption Review Flowchart.

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