Public Hearings for Enbridge pipeline kick off in Thief River Falls

The first two Enbridge Pipeline Line 3 hearings were held in Thief River Falls on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. These public hearings were the first of 18 scheduled hearings across Minnesota. Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly presided over the hearing. The purpose of these public hearings are to determine whether to grant permission to Enbridge for building a new pipeline between their Clearbrook Terminal and their Superior Terminal.

Introductions were given by Bill Grant of the Department of Commerce (DOC), Paul Eberth of Enbridge, and Scott Ek of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Paul Eberth spoke first, for Enbridge, declaring the continued need for oil in Minnesota. According to Eberth, Minnesota alone consumes over 300 thousand gallons of oil each day and Line 3 only moves 90 thousand gallons of oil each day. Eberth showed a map with suggested routes as well as Enbridge’s preferred route, named APR.

Bill Grant spoke second, declaring that Enbridge must justify the need of another pipeline according to Minnesota law. The Certificate of Need might be due to the testimony given by three witnesses from the Department of Commerce; these witnesses were not at the public hearing and a summary of their statements was given by Grant. Kate O’Connell expressed her concern that Enbridge has not declared they will take Line 3 out of action and she is unsure that there is a need for a new pipeline. Dr. Marie Fagan was not confident that the goals expressed in Enbridge’s report justified a need for replacing Line 3. David Dybdahl wants Enbridge to provide compensation for pollution caused by their pipelines.

For more on this public hearing, see this week’s edition of the North Star News.

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