Court officials: Enbridge environmental impact statement fails to address oil spill in Lake Superior watershed

ST. PAUL, MN — Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota has hit another obstacle.

Earlier this month a court said the project’s environmental impact statement failed to address the possibility of an oil spill into the Lake Superior watershed.

Now, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources say they can’t take final action on the project’s permits until the Public Utilities Commission addresses the deficiencies.

Jobs for Minnesotans issued the following statement after Tuesday’s announcement:

“Jobs for Minnesotans calls upon the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) in conjunction with all involved state agencies to work expeditiously through the final steps of the review process and move the Line 3 Replacement Project forward to construction. The Line 3 Project has already been the most thoroughly reviewed project in the State of Minnesota’s history. As supporters of this project, we know there will be efforts to delay this project even further and we encourage the state to focus on the narrow review ordered by the Minnesota Court of Appeals to prevent more delays.  Communities across Minnesota are waiting with urgency, not just for the $2.6 billion investment in the state’s energy infrastructure, but also to protect the environment which is progressively more at risk as this review process continues. The critical Line 3 Project will replace an aging pipeline on which the state relies for energy security and economic competitiveness.  We firmly believe replacing Line 3 is in the state’s best interest and stand behind the continuous unanimous approval of the Line 3 Replacement Project Certificate of Need by the MPUC. The Project will provide quality jobs to more than 6,500 Minnesota workers including 2,100 family-sustaining construction jobs, and bring Minnesota tradespeople back home to work.”

Honor the Earth also sounded off on the DNR and MPCA’s announcement with this statement from Winona LaDuke:

“In light of the recent Appellate Court ruling that the Environmental Impact Statement was severely lacking a review of tar sands oil impacts in the Lake Superior Watershed, critical state agencies such as the DNR and the MPCA have made a prudent decision to suspend their permitting process for a new pipeline that was never needed in the first place, according to another key agency, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which has rightfully opposed Line 3 on solid economic and environmental grounds since the beginning,” says Winona LaDuke, co-founder and Executive Director for Honor the Earth. “The only state governing body that seems to be missing the big picture is the Public Utilities Commission: Tar sands oil and recent climate change studies have much  in common – but one thing is certain, both are inherently high-risk for investors and the planet.”

Associated Press

Associated Press

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