It’s been a busy week. Monday found me in attendance at one of the many public hearings going on around the state on the replacement of aging Enbridge Pipeline #3. The hearing was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce at the East Lake Community Center near McGregor Minnesota to gather public input on the recently released draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Line 3 replacement project. For further hearing dates click here.
The public comments were wide ranging from; general opposition of the use of fossil fuels, local concern for potential environmental damage, to the need transport oil in pipelines, rather than by much more accident prone rail or truck transport. It was an excellent opportunity for the public to weigh in the project. At 1,894 pages the DEIS is a comprehensive document and can be reviewed online at this link.
The DEIS comment period closes on July 10, 2017. The Commerce Department will then review the comments and develop the final EIS. The final EIS will be used by the Public Utilities Commission in its decision process on issuing a certificate of need and route permit for the project.
Written comments can be submitted by email to: Pipeline.Comments@state.mn.us, by fax at: 651-539-0109, or by US mail to:Jamie MacAlister, Environmental Review Manager Minnesota Department of Commerce 85 7th Place East, Suite 280 St. Paul, MN 55101-2198
*Important: Please include the docket numbers CN-14-916/PPL-15-137 on all comments.
Later this month I will be submitting written comments and will share those comments with you.
On Tuesday I attended both the Crow Wing County and the Aitkin County Board of Commissioners meetings and finished the day at the Garrison City Council meeting. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss recently enacted legislation that will impact our local units of government.
Wednesday morning I participated in the Garrison, Kathio, and West Mille Lacs Sanitary District monthly work session. We discussed the remaining administrative steps needed to implement the local use sales tax for the district which the legislature passed this year. The district continues to make excellent progress on refinancing the current bond debt, which will allow a significant reduction in the monthly bond payments.
Please have a safe weekend as we enjoy the summer.