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Newspaper missed important Sandpiper meeting

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opinion Cloquet, 55720

Cloquet Minnesota 122 Avenue C 55720

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my disappointment in the Pine Journal’s lack of coverage of the public meeting for the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline that occurred on 3/13/14 at the County Transportation Building. The Pine Journal had been previously covering the story of the Sandpiper and related opposition very thoroughly, but lately there has been absolutely no mention of what is happening with this project.

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The meeting, which was attended by over 150 and included 33 speakers commenting on the negative impacts of the proposed route, was featured on news stations and in multiple other newspapers, including a front page article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It was standing room only in the large meeting room. There were presentations by the Public Utilities Commission, North Dakota Pipeline Company (aka Enbridge), and the Department of Commerce. Scheduled to run until 9 p.m., it was after 10 when the last speaker finished.

We all rely on our local papers for pertinent information, and indeed this publication is usually very informative, but after covering earlier aspects of this story so well I was surprised to see such important updates ignored, especially because there was so much useful information at the meeting.  People learned what the Public Utilities Commission finds important when deciding a route for an oil pipeline, such as environmental impact, human settlement, and planned future land use, to name a few. They also learned that the deadline for public comments and alternate route submissions is April 4 and that comments should be sent to: Dr. Burl Haar, PublicComments.puc@state.mn.us.

Without any publication of this event, many people don’t know that they have a voice in this matter and that they can submit public comments. I hope that this will serve to inform the community about this event.

Margaret Schulstrom, Mahtowa

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