AITKIN – State Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, issued the following statement after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday awarded the final permit necessary for Enbridge to begin construction of a new pipeline that will replace Enbridge’s current Line 3.
“This action concludes six years of environmental review and will result in the long-overdue replacement of an aging, 60-year-old pipeline,” Lueck said. “The focus must turn to ensuring the safety of the men and women that will construct the replacement pipeline and our public safety professionals that will ensure all the laws concerning, trespass, property damage, and terrorist threats are fully enforced.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission provided their final approvals for the project in recent weeks. The $2.6 billion project replaces an aging pipeline currently operating at about 50 percent capacity with 337 miles of new pipeline stretching across northern Minnesota.
The project includes approximately five miles of the new pipeline in the very northwestern corner of Crow Wing County, 46 miles of pipeline in Cass County and 34 miles of pipeline in Aitkin County, as well as construction of a pump station in Macville Township, just south of Hill City.
“With all permits in place it's important this project be allowed to move forward without further delay or interference,” Lueck said. “The project will generate millions of dollars of annual in new property tax revenue for our counties, townships and school districts across Minnesota and put many Minnesotan’s to work in good, high-paying jobs.”
Enbridge’s Line 3 stretches from Alberta, Canada, to a major oil distribution terminal at Superior, Wis. The line cuts across the northeast corner of North Dakota across all of northern Minnesota. The segment of line in Minnesota is the only portion of the line that has yet to be replaced. The other segments of the old line in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin have already been replaced with a modern new much safer and technical superior pipeline.