April 2019, Vol. 246, No. 4


Enbridge Delays Line 3 Pipeline Opening in Minnesota by Year

Enbridge Energy is delaying the start-up of its planned Line 3 replacement crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota by a year.

The Canadian-based company said it expects the new pipeline to go into service in the second half of 2020. Enbridge officials had hoped to put the pipeline into service in the second half of 2019.

The state Public Utilities approved the project last summer. But the Minnesota Department of Commerce argued that Enbridge failed to provide legally adequate long-range demand forecasts to establish the need for the project.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge wants to replace Line 3 because it’s increasingly prone to cracking and corrosion. Native American and environmental activists argue the project risks spills in pristine areas in northern Minnesota, including where American Indians harvest wild rice considered sacred and central to their culture, and that the Canadian tar sands oil the line would carry will accelerate climate change.

Under the permitting timeline Minnesota presented to Enbridge all remaining state permits required for constructing Line 3 will be provided by November. Enbridge said it expects the remaining federal permits to be finalized 30 to 60 days after that.


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