While many people sent out greeting cards over the recent holiday season, 7,494 supporters of the Line 3 Replacement project from across Minnesota also sent supportive comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). These comments urged the PUC to determine that the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Line 3 Replacement project is adequate. The PUC had ordered the project’s EIS to be revised to analyze any potential impacts into the Lake Superior watershed from a potential spill. The additional analysis determined it was unlikely any “measurable amount of oil would reach Lake Superior.”
“We have finally reached what must be the end of a long, rigorous, and thorough review of this critically important energy infrastructure project,” said Abby Loucks, a member of Minnesotans for Line 3, the advocacy support group that helped coordinate and gather the comments. “This project has answered every question, passed every test, and is supported by tens of thousands of people across Minnesota. We are confident the PUC will do the right thing and allow the permitting process to move forward so workers to get ready to build this essential energy project.”
In addition to the comments, Minnesotans for Line 3 also released a map (see above) showing the locations of people across the state, as well as along the route, who submitted comments in support of the project.
The review of Line 3 has gone on for more than four years and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has four times unanimously voted to approve it. Legal challenges to the EIS required the PUC to order additional review and analysis to be incorporated into the document.
The PUC will review information received via the public review process and decide if the updated EIS is adequate to reinstate the previously approved route permit and certificate of need. After the PUC re-instates its adequacy determination for the EIS and again approves the route permit and the certificate of need, state and federal agencies are expected to make decisions about permits for Line 3 later this year.
The Line 3 Replacement Project will replace existing aging infrastructure with new state of the art technology while protecting the environment, providing jobs and economic benefits to Minnesotans. When completed, it will help ensure a reliable supply of crude oil to Minnesota refineries for years to come that will create an additional $35 million in annual property taxes to Minnesota after its first year in service. Work to replace the line will be an estimated $2.6 billion private investment into Minnesota that will support approximately 8,600 jobs during construction and create an additional $100 million in economic development and employment opportunities for Minnesota Tribes.
Minnesotans for Line 3 is an active, grassroots organization of people across the state who understand how important it is to have reliable energy to power our economy and help maintain everyone’s quality of life. We also know the best way to protect our environment and natural resources is to replace aging infrastructure with a state-of-the-art pipeline that uses the newest technology available. To learn more, visit minnesotansforline3.com.