Enbridge, Tribe Criticize Judge’s Recommendation on Pipeline
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Both Enbridge Energy and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe are criticizing an administrative law judge’s recommendation regarding replacement of the company’s aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.
Judge Ann O’Reilly recently recommended that state regulators approve the replacement line only if it follows the existing route rather than the company’s preferred route. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is expected to decide in June.
The current route crosses the Leech Lake reservation, including areas where wild rice is harvested. Minnesota Public Radio reports the tribe says the judge’s recommendation disregards tribal sovereignty and environmental issues.
Canada-based Enbridge says the recommendation is “fatally flawed” because a new pipeline can’t be built over tribal objections.
Ojibwe bands planned to fish on Lake Bemidji Friday, a day before Minnesota’s fishing opener, to affirm tribal sovereignty and protest the judge’s recommendation.
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