Public Hearing Held On Sandpiper Pipeline
Sorry, this video is no longer available
More than 300 people gathered at the Holiday Inn Tuesday for a public hearing on the controversial $2.6-billion proposed Sandpiper Pipeline.
Supporters were on hand and in favor of the potential creation of 1,500 jobs to build the pipeline, while others were against and in strong support of protecting the Great Lakes.
The Sandpiper Pipeline project has been in the works for two years.
Some Carlton County farmers have voiced concerns about losing their livelihoods if the pipeline passed through their fields and possibly damaging the soil structure.
For others, their greatest fear is contaminating the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and many other watersheds.
“One of my main concerns is the potential impact of any oil transportation. Whether it’s a pipeline spill like we saw in Michigan or a disastrous oil tanker breaking a part in Lake Superior,” explained Andrew Slade, with the Minnesota Environmental Partnership.
As with anything, there are two sides to a story and more than one opinion.
“The oil was never supposed to come out of the ground — leave it there. It’s too risky, it’s too risky,” said Michael Dahl, with White Earth Reservation.
Enbridge’s spokesperson Lorraine Little said many people are in support of Sandpiper.
“In fact we have acquired easement agreements from private landowners along the route and we have 92–percent of those easement agreements acquired at this point,” said Little.
The pipeline’s route is not yet finalized, but would stretch from North Dakota to Superior.
“Is it in the need and the benefit for the state of Minnesota? Does it affect surrounding areas, such as interstate commerce,” asked Little.
Three more meetings will be held across the state this week to let your voice be heard.
Prior to a route being finalized, there will be more public hearings.
Enbridge hopes to have the pipeline in service by 2017.