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Groups question Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline

Published by
World Pipelines,

Two environmental groups have requested that Minnesota’s state regulators retrace some steps in the evaluation of a controversial proposed oil pipeline.

MPR News reported that the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) and Friends of the Headwaters (FoH) filed a motion with the Public Utilities Commission on 26 September.

The reason they give for this is because the groups are concerned that Enbridge's plans for replacing its Line 3 – a 1000 mile pipeline that carries crude from Canada – are inconsistent.

Enbridge has always considered the Line 3 project as a replacement project since the pipe are almost 50 years old and, arguably, must be maintained for safety purposes.

However, it has been noticed that a recently proposed settlement between Enbridge and the US Department of Justice over a major 2010 oil spill in Michigan allows the company to reuse the original Line 3, even after it builds the new ‘replacement’ pipeline.

MCEA and FoH are requested the state to initiate a new scoping period for the environmental impact statement for the Line 3 project, to allow the public to comment on "the true and accurate dimensions" of the project, according to the motion filed with the state PUC.

"They're telling the state one thing, that they'll permanently deactivate the existing pipeline – leave it in the ground – and they're telling the federal government an entirely different thing," highlighted Kevin Lee, staff attorney with the Minnesota’s Center for Environmental Advocacy.

The groups have also alleged that plans for the Line 3 project have changed after Enbridge decided to drop the proposed Sandpiper pipeline in northern Minnesota.

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