Enbridge Inc. has vowed to try again for state approval of a partial new route across Minnesota for the proposed replacement of its half century-old Line 3 oil export pipeline that runs from Alberta to the Midwest.
A company statement says the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) would be asked to overrule an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) recommendation to restrict construction exclusively to “in-trench replacement” of the aged pipe with a new one.
“Overall, we are pleased that the ALJ has agreed that there is a clear need for the pipeline as it is a critical safety- and maintenance-driven project,” Enbridge said. “It will also ensure reliable and adequate supply of crude oil to Minnesota and regional refineries, providing significant economic benefits.”
But the Calgary-based pipeline conglomerate said it “continues to believe our preferred route is the best route for Minnesota when all factors are considered.”
The proposed change would create a new corridor for 47% of the line’s current 282-mile path across the state, increasing the length to 337 miles while avoiding two Indian reservations and environmentally sensitive areas.
“The final environmental impact statement approved by the MPUC demonstrates that on balance, our preferred route is least impactful on tribal/cultural resources, proximity to drinking water and high consequence population areas,” Enbridge said.
A final commission decision is expected in June.