Public Hearing Held for Enbridge Line 3
Protestors Storm Streets, Enbridge Hearing
DULUTH, Minn. – Wednesday night at the DECC, the hearing was divided, supporters from both sides stood shoulder to shoulder voicing concerns. The proposed line would replace 1,031 miles of pipeline, 337 miles of it will be built across Northern Minnesota.
“It supplies about 80% of the crude oil that’s refined right here in the Minnesota refineries,” said Jessica Smith Enbridge Community Engagement Manager “It carries 100% of the crude oil right over in Wisconsin.”
Enbridge claims Line 3 is the most efficient and environmentally friendly option. But property owners near the pipeline are not sold on Line 3 as a solution.
“Although they are claiming this to be a replacement it’s not a full replacement, there are going to be significant sections of the existing line that are abandoned left in the ground,” homeowner Collen Bernu said.
According to Enbridge, some old pipeline will be cleaned out but majority left in the ground– which is raising concerns from local property owners.
Wednesday’s hearing was one of 18 throughout the state.
“So the question then becomes, is this the best and most environmentally way to deal with this particular issue?” Bernu said. “They haven’t particularly answered that question.”
The nearly 50-year-old pipeline currently brings oil from Alberta to Superior.
“By replacing the pipeline we would be using thicker steel, the pipe has new technology, new coating, and it’ll be a little deeper than what the existing line is buried at,” Smith said. “So all of that goes towards keeping the environment safe and keeping it protected.”
Five more public hearings are in the works before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission makes a vote on Line 3 in April.