St. Paul, MN – Four environment and transportation legislative leaders are praising the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) plan to conduct an interagency study of proposed oil pipeline expansions in Minnesota. In a letter sent today to EQB Director William Seuffert, Senators John Marty and Scott Dibble and Representatives Jean Wagenius and Frank Hornstein thanked the agency for leading an effort "to better understand the impacts of projected oil pipeline expansions in Minnesota.”
In the letter, the chairs of key environmental and transportation legislative committees also expressed "grave concerns" about the pipeline industry's "strident and aggressive opposition to common sense and practical oil spill response requirements.” Marty, Dibble, Wagenius and Hornstein blasted industry lobbying efforts in 2014 to defeat portions of oil transportation safety legislation that would ensure faster responses to major spills.
The lawmakers asked the EQB to include an evaluation of the environmental importance of timely spill clean-up and an inventory of past pipeline spills in the state in an effort to learn lessons from previous mishaps. They cited the EQB plan as "important and timely" given significant pipeline expansion proposals now before state regulatory agencies.
New pipelines crossing northern and central Minnesota are planned to transport tar sands oil from Alberta and Bakken crude from North Dakota to points east and south of the state.
*Click here to view a copy of the lawmaker's letter to EQB Director William Seuffert