• Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021

Minnesota issues another approval for disputed oil pipeline

A Minnesota regulatory panel has signed off on Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota, leaving only one minor state permit to go before construction can begin

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota regulatory panel on Tuesday signed off on Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota, leaving only one minor state permit to go before construction can begin.

The independent Public Utilities Commission notified Enbridge in a filing that the company has complied with its pre-construction requirements. Enbridge said in a statement that the authorization to begin construction means only a final construction storm water permit is needed from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency before construction can begin.

The approval came one day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the final federal permit for the project. The PUC had approved the project several times before.

MPCA spokesman Darin Broton said his agency has 30 days from Monday to decide.

Opponents say the project threatens spills in pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice and that the Canadian tar sands oil it would carry would aggravate climate change.