The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that the final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project failed to properly address the spill risk in Lake Superior. Without a valid FEIS, Enbridge’s certificate of need and route permit issued in 2018 are both void. In addition, Minnesota’s DNR and pollution-control agency cannot issue the required state permits without the FEIS.
The FEIS will likely be sent back to the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to determine how to proceed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency must also issue Line 3’s water-quality certification by Oct. 30 or Enbridge would need to reapply, restarting a year-long process. In anticipation of regulatory activity, help us collect signatures on the below comment that we will submit to key decision makers at the appropriate time in support of Line 3. Thousands of jobs are in jeopardy, many belonging to Local 798 members!
*PLEASE NOTE: Local 798 may submit your signature to state and federal regulatory bodies, as well as elected officials to support the Line 3 Replacement project.
To Whom It May Concern:
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in expressing frustration with the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ decision to invalidate the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for Enbridge's Line 3 Pipeline Replacement project. Just last year, the Minnesota PUC unanimously found the project's 13,500 page FEIS adequate.
The decision is particularly upsetting because this review was based on the most extensive environmental study of a pipeline project in state history. The final route reflects years of environmental and cultural studies. In addition, project leaders have demonstrated consistent engagement efforts with Tribes, individual landowners and local communities to ensure the most responsible plan would be implemented. These collaborations resulted in more than 50 route changes of the line.
The FEIS is the product of a comprehensive interagency effort that included the environmental branch of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The court’s decision will likely send the FEIS back to the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for further review, delaying construction beyond 2020. This delay will deny millions of dollars in tax revenue to local communities and threaten thousands of pipeliner jobs, many belonging to Local 798.
Once in operation, Line 3 will provide a much-needed update to Enbridge’s Mainline System, ensuring that it continues to safely transport energy required to meet growing demands from eastern Canada to the Gulf Coast.
The court upheld the majority of the environmental study's findings, excluding the possible impact on the Lake Superior watershed, and I believe key decision makers should approve pending license and permit applications for the Line 3 Replacement Project for the following key reasons:
- Line 3 will provide access to a reliable and secure energy supply to meet growing demands;
- Enbridge has demonstrated plans to restore 99.98% of the potential wetland impacts during construction;
- Replacing aging infrastructure is critical in order to safely meet the region’s growing demand for reliable energy across;
- Line 3 construction will create thousands of well-paying jobs for local craftsmen and generate tens of millions of dollars in critical tax revenue for local communities in MN, WI and ND.
Minnesota residents and craftsmen deserve the economic and environmental benefits from Line 3. This is why I urge key decision makers to issue necessary license and permits for this important project.
Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project Supporter