Commerce Department Holding Public Pipeline Meetings 16 May 17

A series of twenty-two meetings throughout the month of June.

The Minnesota Commerce Department will take public testimony across the listening area concerning the replacement of Enbridge Energy Line #3, the legacy line that angles across Northwestern Minnesota from Kittson to Clearwater Counties.

Hearings are scheduled in Bagley, June 6th, Newfolden and Hallock, June 20th, Thief River Falls and Plummer, June 21st, Gully and Bemidji, June 22nd.

The question is whether to issue a Certificate of Need based on a 2000 page draft environmental review of the proposed replacement project, first constructed here in the listening area by the former Lakehead Pipeline in the 1960′s.

In Northwestern Minnesota, new line would run along-side the current line on Enbridge right of way, but south of Clearbrook, new right of way is proposed, taking the oil pipeline south, where it would pass near Itasca State Park, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, then turn east to connect with the existing corridor near Carlton and on to Superior, Wisconsin.

Enbridge plans include a $2.6 billion upgrade of the 364 mile pipeline, restoring capacity to 760 thousand barrels of crude daily.

Along with public testimony, written comments are also being taken until July 10th. More public hearings are expected after approval of the final draft this fall, with a decision as early as next April. The project already has regulatory approval in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.