Last week I attended a briefing hosted by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber on the status of Enbridge Line #3 replacement project. Enbridge officials indicated that they are ready to begin construction of the replacement pipeline as soon as the ongoing lawsuit issues are cleared up.
Court action has temporarily paused the final permitting process. A decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to be forthcoming in December of this year which will allow all parties to readjust the final permitting and construction timeline.
The replacement of the aging pipeline has already been completed in both Canada and Wisconsin, but due to Minnesota’s extremely cumbersome and lawsuit plagued environmental review process the old line #3 remains in place in Minnesota and actual work has yet to start on its replacement.
The permitting process to replace the aging pipeline started at the same time in Canada, Wisconsin and Minnesota over four years ago. A modern new Enbridge Line #3 now sits at both the Northwestern and East Central Minnesota borders while the environment in Minnesota remains at risk while we continue to clear more unwarranted delays in construction.
The Mille Lacs Lake Fishery Advisory Group also met last week. DNR officials are looking forward to the fall data collection which will provide an update on the health of the lake. DNR officials expressed confidence that based on what they have seen to date the fishery remains on a positive course. However, until the results of the fall sampling are in it is premature to speculate on what next year’s walleye safe harvest level will be at, which will dictate next summer’s walleye fishery regulations.
I also joined a bipartisan coalition of 70 lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown in signing a letter to Gov. Walz in response to the anti-Polymet letter sent last month by a group of 18 almost exclusively Metro-area Democrats.
The letter I co-signed responds to frivolous concerns raised by the anti-mining legislators, and urges the governor to reject this latest effort to stop this project.
Linda and I finished the week with a trip to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center to attend our youngest grandson’s graduation from boot camp. The Naval Recruit Training Command graduated 1,130 new sailors in an impressive ceremony. Very early the next morning our grandson was in the air headed for Charleston S.C., where he reports to Electronic Technician “A” School with a follow on orders to Nuclear Propulsion School. Go, Navy!