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State seeks public comment on draft environmental review of proposed Line 3 pipeline project

5/15/2017 8:58:14 AM

Minnesotans can learn about environmental review draft and offer input at 22 public meetings in June throughout northern and central Minnesota

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – Under the authority of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the State of Minnesota’s draft environmental impact statement for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline project was issued today. A public review and comment period will be held through July 10, including a total of 22 public meetings in the counties through which the proposed pipeline or an alternative route is under consideration.

The draft environmental impact statement and full schedule of public meetings are available at: mn.gov/commerce/energyfacilities/line3

The draft will be available at the public information meetings, and may also be viewed at a public library in each county (listed on the Line 3 webpage).

Enbridge Energy has applied for a certificate of need and route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct its proposed Line 3 pipeline project. By the order of the Commission, a draft environmental impact statement has been prepared by the Minnesota Commerce Department in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to evaluate the potential human and environmental impacts. 

Enbridge is proposing to construct a new oil pipeline in Minnesota, replacing its existing Line 3. As proposed, the new pipeline would follow the existing Line 3 from the North Dakota border near Hallock to an Enbridge terminal in Clearbrook. From Clearbrook eastward, the proposed pipeline would follow a new right-of-way, south of the existing Line 3, ending at an existing terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. As proposed by Enbridge, the existing Line 3 would be abandoned and left in place after the new pipeline is installed, tested and operational.

Development of the draft environmental impact statement is based on the scoping order issued by the Public Utilities Commission in November 2016 that identified key topics and alternative routes for analysis. The scoping process also involved a public review and comment period, including 12 public meetings in April-May 2016.

Twenty-two public meetings in June will provide the opportunity for Minnesotans to learn about the information in the draft environmental impact statement and to provide either oral or written comments for the record. The public comments will be used to prepare the final environmental impact statement, which will inform the Public Utilities Commission’s decisions on Enbridge’s proposal.

Government-to-government consultations between the State of Minnesota and the tribal governments in the state are also ongoing as part of the environmental review process.

After completion of the final environmental impact statement, public hearings will be held by an administrative law judge from the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. At these public hearings, Minnesotans will be able to submit comments, present evidence and ask questions. 

The administrative law judge will submit a report to the Public Utilities Commission with findings of facts, conclusions of law and recommendations. The Commission is expected to decide on Enbridge’s certificate of need and route permit applications in the spring of 2018.

Written comments on the draft environmental impact statement will be accepted through Monday, July 10, 2017. Comments may be emailed, mailed or faxed.

Mail:   Minnesota Department of Commerce
           Attn: Jamie MacAlister, Environmental Review Manager
           85 7th Place East, Suite 280
           St. Paul MN  55101-2198
Email: Pipeline.Comments@state.mn.us
Fax:   651-539-0109

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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