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Enbridge Line 3 replacement project receives MPCA approvals and remaining DNR permits

Submitted
Crookston Times

A statement from Enbridge:

This is clearly a big day for Line 3.  These authorizations and approvals from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are an important step towards construction for the safety and maintenance focused Line 3 Replacement Project.  

Today’s decision from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency including the project’s 401 Water Quality Certification clears the way for a determination from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding federal permits. The Line 3 project has been designed to minimize impacts to sensitive streams and wetlands.  Enbridge pipelines have coexisted with some of the nation’s most productive wild rice waters for 70 years.  As the Administrative Law Judge confirmed, Enbridge and the MPCA identified the best and most prudent crossing method for each stream, identified and counted the full acreage of wetlands, and correctly determined best protections for wetlands and waterbodies.

The Minnesota DNR permits range from a license for utility crossing of state land and public water, to water appropriation for dust control, hydrostatic testing and horizontal directional drilling.  Enbridge has now received all ten of the DNR permits and authorizations for the safety and maintenance focused Line 3 Replacement Project. The project still needs final permits and authorizations before construction can begin.  

The thorough, robust, science-based review of the project over the past six years has led to evidence-based approvals. Enbridge recognizes that the permit conditions required by the PCA and DNR are essential for protecting Minnesota’s sensitive streams and wild rice waters during construction and planning for post-construction restoration and enhancement.

At Enbridge safety is our top priority.  Enbridge implemented an effective COVID-19 testing and screening program that has proven effective during our recent Line 3 construction in North Dakota.  We will continue to follow the latest guidance provided by local, federal and international public-health and government authorities to protect workers and communities.  Replacing an aging pipeline with new, modern construction, is the safest and best option for protecting the environment and communities for generations to come. 

The project will provide significant economic benefits for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members. Line 3 is a shovel-ready, $2.6-billion private investment that will bring 4,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues at a time when Northern Minnesota needs it most.