GUEST COMMENTARY: Public input will be solicited on latest phase of pipeline proposal
By Lorraine Little
The Energy Environmental Review and Analysis Division of the Minnesota Department of Commerce conducted public information meetings for the Sandpiper Pipeline Project route in March. The comment period to submit alternative routes has closed. The public will have opportunities to comment about the project at additional hearings this fall (the Commission will select the dates, times and locations for these hearings).
Additional public comment periods for the Sandpiper Certificate of Need and Route Permit applications will be conducted concurrent with the public hearings. Thus, there will be significant opportunity for the public to comment on the Project.
On June 12, 2014, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to accept staff recommendations that will balance the need for a transparent and thorough review process with the statutory need to arrive at a timely decision on North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC’s Sandpiper Pipeline Project applications for a Certificate of Need and Route Permit.
The Administrative Law Judge will issue a schedule for public comment periods and hearings that will provide the public an opportunity to testify in person and submit written comments about the project. The Commission’s decision allows everyone to move forward in the regulatory process.
North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC will continue working with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Department of Commerce within the established guidelines and timelines for review of the Sandpiper Pipeline Project. We look forward to gathering public input on the Project and working with each agency during the coming months.
Minnesota needs Sandpiper
If approved, the Sandpiper pipeline will deliver Bakken light crude oil from North Dakota to refining centers in the Midwest and the East Coast helping to increase our nation’s energy security. Our economy has benefitted from bringing Bakken oil production to market, continuing to bolster Minnesota’s and the country’s economic growth. This $1.2 billion investment in new infrastructure in Minnesota will create 1,500 good-paying construction jobs, economic activity along the route and property tax revenue for local governments — about $25 million annually in Minnesota property taxes during the first year of operations.
Lorraine Little is the senior manager for public affairs at Enbridge Energy. For questions, contact the Sandpiper Project toll-free number at 1-855-788-7805 or email email@example.com if you have questions about the project.