MN Appeals Court Upholds Line 3 Water Quality Permit
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed a decision by state pollution regulators to issue a water quality certification for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline. It’s the latest setback for opponents as the project nears completion.
The court ruled that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s approval was “supported by substantial evidence in the record.” Under federal law, the MPCA was required to certify whether the project met state and federal clean water standards. The agency concluded that it did.
Enbridge Energy released a statement saying that “[t]oday’s decision was an important affirmation of the [MPCA’s] approval for Line 3’s 401 Certification, confirming that wetlands and waterbodies are being appropriately protected during construction.
Paul Blackburn, an attorney for the environmental group Honor the Earth, also posted a statement today, saying, “Once again the courts have failed the Anishinaabe and its treaties, the people of Minnesota and the protection of our mutually shared natural resources. We will continue to press our case in tribal court whenever appropriate, and continue to resist the operation of Line 3 for the good of the state and the planet at a time of growing climate turmoil.”
Nearly 900 Line 3 opponents have been arrested at protests along the route across northern Minnesota and in St. Paul. Enbridge says construction on Line 3 is almost complete and is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of this year.