The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, that Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the state regulator that approved the Line 3 project last year, will not have to consider additional environmental issues. The ruling removed one potential obstacle for the already-delayed project.
The court declined to hear environmental and tribal challenges to Enbridge’s Line 3 which is part of Enbridge’s Mainline network that transports western Canadian oil to Midwest refineries. Line 3 replacement project was meant to be in service by the end of this year, but due to permitting issues, the project has been delayed until the second half of 2020.
“We agree with this decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court which now allows the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to move forth with the permitting process for the Line 3 replacement,” said Guy Jarvis, Enbridge’s executive vice president of liquids pipelines. “We look forward to the MPUC providing their guidance on the remaining process and schedule.”
The replacement project would double the capacity to 760,000 barrels per day providing much-needed relief from congestion on existing Canadian pipelines. In June, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the Public Utilities Commission had failed to address how an oil spill from the line would affect Lake Superior within the project’s environmental impact statement.