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Line 3 pipeline review needs more time

Additional time is needed to complete a draft environmental review of the proposed Line 3 pipeline project, according to a letter filed today by the State of Minnesota. The draft document had been tentatively scheduled for public release on April 3, but the department now anticipates issuance on May 15.

Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership has applied for a certificate of need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct and operate the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project. At the direction of the Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Commerce Department is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

“The proposed Line 3 project presents significant issues,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Additional time allows the department to prepare a thorough draft environmental impact statement that provides effective, meaningful public review and comment. The Public Utilities Commission has an important decision to make for Minnesota, and the Commerce Department is committed to providing the best information possible for them to use in the decision-making process.”

Rothman said the time will be used for consultation with tribal governments, additional information gathering, coordination with stakeholders, and technical analysis and review.

Release of the draft EIS will be followed by a public comment period, including a minimum of 22 public information meetings, one in each county through which a route is proposed. The meetings will provide the opportunity for public participation and comment to inform the final EIS, which will be used by the Public Utilities Commission to decide on Enbridge’s certificate of need and route permit applications.

Additional information and documents in these proceedings are available on the Commission’s eDockets website at www.edockets.state.mn.us. The Certificate of Need filings can be found in Docket PL-9/CN-14-916 and the Pipeline Permit filings in Docket PL-9/PPL-15-137.

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