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Court reverses regulators’ decision on pipeline’s impact

ST. PAUL, MN (AP) – An appeals court has reversed a decision by Minnesota utility regulators who approved the environmental impact statement for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 pipeline.

The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday the environmental impact statement is inadequate because it doesn’t address the possibility of an oil spill into the Lake Superior watershed.

The state Public Utilities Commission last year approved the review done by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Several environmental groups and American Indian tribes appealed the commission’s approval.

Enbridge’s $2.6 billion project calls for the construction of a new oil pipeline to replace the aging Line 3.

The pipeline would carry Canadian oil across northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

Enbridge released the following statement in response to the court’s decision Monday:

“We are disappointed with the court’s decision given that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously found the Line 3 Replacement Project’s 13,500 page FEIS adequate, based on the most extensive environmental study of a pipeline project in state history, affirming the recommendation of an administrative law judge who thoroughly reviewed the FEIS for adequacy.  The FEIS is the product of a comprehensive interagency effort that included the environmental branch of the Department of Commerce (DOC), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Department of Natural Resources.

We are in the process of a detailed analysis of the court’s decision and will consult with the MPUC and other state agencies about next steps.”

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Associated Press

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