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Revised Line 3 Pipeline study addresses potential impact of oil spill on Lake Superior

St. PAUL, MN - A revised Environmental Impact Statement filed Monday states there would be "no risk" to Lake Superior should an oil spill happen from the proposed Line 3 Pipeline Replacement project.

The Department of Commerce said it selected the crossing of the Little Otter Creek in the Lake Superior watershed for modeling in the EIS.

"The Little Otter Creek site was chosen because it is the location in Minnesota where a hypothetical oil release is more likely to enter the St. Louis River (with the potential to reach Lake Superior) than the other options under consideration," a letter to the Public Utilities Commission said.

"By design the model did not take into account any response, mitigation or cleanup efforts for 24 hours and even then, none of the simulations resulted in oil reaching Spirit Lake or entering Lake Superior even in high flow conditions," Julie Kellmner, an Enbridge spokesperson said.

In June, the appeals court ruled the original EIS was inadequate because it failed to "specifically address the potential impact of an oil spill into the Lake Superior Watershed".

The revised EIS states the "most significant" environmental effects of the spilled oil in Little Otter Creek would be the potential for effects on fish as concentrations of toxic components of the oil in the water column may be high for short periods of time due to entrainment and dissolution in the turbulent waters located in the rapids, as well as the overflow, of the Fond du Lac Dam.

As part of the review process, the Public Utilities Commission is holding a public comment period on the 13,500 page EIS.

Kevin Jacobsen

News Director

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