Regulators stand by Line 3 pipeline approval again

Published 7:26 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ST. PAUL — Minnesota utility regulators have granted a final approval to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement.

The Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday unanimously rejected the last pending petitions for reconsideration, including one from the state Commerce Department.

The Commerce Department had joined with tribal and environmental groups in challenging the project’s approvals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which sent the case back to the commission last month.

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Gov. Tim Walz says his administration will study Tuesday’s decision before deciding next steps.

Line 3 has carried Canadian crude since the 1960s and is showing its age. The new line would cross Alberta, a corner of North Dakota and northern Minnesota to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Besides clearing the legal challenges, Calgary-based Enbridge also needs state and federal permits, which the company hopes to secure around end of the year.