MN Regulators Deny Request By Tribes to Delay Line 3 Pipeline
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has denied a request by two northern Minnesota tribes, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, to prevent Enbridge Energy from moving forward with its contentious Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement. The five-member panel voted 4-1 Friday to deny the motion.
Enbridge broke ground on the $2.6 billion project earlier this week after receiving its final key permit from the state’s pollution control agency. Opponents say the pipeline threatens spillage and irreparable damage to waters the tribes use to fish and harvest wild rice, and that the influx of construction workers into communities along the Line 3 corridor would worsen the spread of COVID-19.
Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, called the decision “predictable” and criticized the panel for not waiting for the Court of Appeals.
Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said in a statement that this decision is a reconfirmation of the PUC’s previous approvals for the replacement of Line 3 while also noting more than 1,000 people are now working on the project.