PUC holds Line 3 hearing in St. Paul today

The State Public Utilities Commission is taking public comments today in St. Paul on Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project.

According to the notice, the Commission began the meeting at 8:30 this morning at the Senate Building, with tickets distributed for free as a first-come, first-serve basis.

The PUC will hear arguments early next week on whether the second revised final environmental impact statement is adequate; what action should be taken on the application for the certificate of need; and what action should be taken on the application for a pipeline routing permit.

The second revised final environmental impact statement was ordered by the state’s high courts, which was revised to consider the potential of an oil spill and its impacts on the Lake Superior Watershed.

That study showed that it was unlikely that the flow from an oil rupture would end up in Lake Superior within 24 hours.

Jobs for Minnesotans, a pro-pipeline group, said in an earlier statement after the final revised EIS was released, “This project is the most thoroughly reviewed project in Minnesota history, and the PUC has consistently agreed it deserves to move forward. We look forward to seeing this project, and the jobs and benefits it will bring to our communities, come to life for the betterment of our state.”

MN350, an environmental group, recently issued a report that the expansion of Line 3 would have a negative impact on the state’s carbon footprint.

“We applaud climate initiatives like 100 percent clean energy and increased electric vehicle standards in Minnesota,” MN350 organizer Andy Pearson said. “This report makes it clear that unless we also stop the Line 3 pipeline, we’ll actually be moving backward instead of forward on addressing climate change as a state, even with lots of progress on clean cars and renewables.”

The written comment period, according to a notice from the PUC, has closed, but may still be accepted into the record.

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