Senator Utke: Line 3 Replacement on Track Again

On February 3, 2020 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved the Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS), the Certificate of Need and the Route Permit for the Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project. This was the third time the MPUC has approved these items.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has announced the final permit schedule for the Line 3 Replacement. Hopefully, this process will be completed this spring and construction can start this summer.

Everyone needs to remember that Line 3 is a replacement project. This is about a company wanting to do the right thing for our area and all of Northern Minnesota.  The company is replacing a pipeline that is over 60 years old with 21st Century Technology, Maintenance and Safety.  When the current pipeline was put into the ground the first black and white TV broadcasts were taking place throughout our region. At the time, that was cutting edge technology.

Remember the ’57 Chevy?  It was new when this pipe was put in the ground.  Without a lot of maintenance, restoration and care, we would not be able to enjoy looking at these older cars today.

The black and white TV and a ’57 Chevy are both of a similar age to the current Line 3 Pipeline.  This pipe has received continuous maintenance for the 60 plus years it has been in service, but that is not like being able to pull the engine for a complete overhaul, or take the chassis to a body shop for a complete paint job. No, this pipeline has received its maintenance where it is at, and has continued to move oil safely all of these years.

Again, this is a replacement project. Enbridge will be replacing the ’57 Chevy and the black and white TV with 21st Century Technology to better protect our water and natural resources while moving oil safely across Northern Minnesota.  It is now time to turn our talented Minnesota workforce loose and let them start putting this 21st Century product and technology into the ground.

Enbridge wants to invest $2.6 billion dollars (Minnesota’s portion of the pipeline) to replace a pipeline manufactured over 60 years ago with both a new pipe and 21st Century Technology.  From the steel manufacturing process and quality, to the technology used in welding the pipes, to the testing and maintenance procedures used today, the advancements are extraordinary.  It is time to go to work!