The proposed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline route through northern Minnesota would cross more than 200 streams and other water bodies and 79 miles of wetlands. These are some of Minnesota’s cleanest waters.
You now have the several opportunities to speak out against Line 3’s risks to Minnesota’s waters, environment, and Ojibwe peoples.
For the project to move forward, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) needs to approve a water crossing permit, technically called a Section 401 Permit, a requirement of the federal Clean Water Act.
The MPCA issued a draft permit. which is now open for public comment through April 3. For more information, check out the MPCA’s page on the Section 401 Permit. Click here to go directly to the public comment page.
If you want to be heard in person, there will be two public hearings, one Tuesday March 17 in Bemidji and another Wednesday, March 18 in Grand Rapids. MN350 has organized buses from the Twin Cities for both events. Both will return to the Twin Cities on the same day. The cost is $40 if you can afford it, otherwise it’s pay what you can. Click on the link for details.
The Section 401 Permit requires the MPCA to evaluate Line 3’s impacts on water quality where the pipeline crosses streams and other water bodies. It’s Line 3’s last major regulatory hurdle, though it still faces two potential lawsuits in the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
The decision on the permit will be just the latest measure of how much corporate interests have captured Minnesota’s regulatory agencies.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved two key Line 3 permits, a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit. It’s decision was absurd, given that the Minnesota Department of Commerce deemed Line 3 unnecessary and Line 3’s environmental impact statement found the pipeline would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in climate damage. Somehow in Bizarro World, the project prevailed.
Now we’ll have a chance to see whether the MPCA lives up to its mission of protecting the environment.
For more background, see this Open Letter to Governor Walz on Enbridge Line 3.