Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Enbridge continues permitting process


Enbridge Pipeline has applied for a Certificate of Need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to construct a replacement pipeline in a new corridor for the old Line 3 pipeline that runs through Carlton County from the Fond du Lac tribal lands through Wrenshall to the Superior refinery.

A federal judge in a final settlement of the Michigan oil spill case ordered the Line 3 oil line currently operating to be replaced as soon as possible. Line 3 was built in the 1950s and is of the same vintage as the pipeline that broke under the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Enbridge touts advances in oil line safety with new style pipes and intricate, state-of-the-art safety valves electronically connected for quick response to system failures.

Preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) through a hearing process is scheduled to be finished by July 10, 2017. Enbridge has a preferred route going through Carlton County from Automba Township east along existing energy corridors to Superior. The pressure is on from environmental groups wishing the line go from North Dakota down the Minnesota River Valley and through Iowa, directly to refineries in Chicago, or use the current corridor, or drop down almost to St. Cloud and head northeast to the Superior terminal. Enbridge finds the alternate routes more costly and not a long-term answer to replacement of other aging oil lines now being used.

More information is now available at the Arrowhead Library System or the Duluth Public Library. Online information can be found at

Under consideration for issuing a permit will be:

- Pipeline deactivation.

- Greenhouse gases and climate change.

- Oil spill impacts to water, wildlife and human settlements.

- Tribal concerns.

- Development of a new pipeline corridor.

National news sources have reported President-elect Donald Trump has large financial holdings in Midwest oil fields and oil and gas transport. New cabinet and high level federal government appointees have strong ties to the fossil fuel industry. The effect of these federal changes for oil line construction on local projects remains to be seen.


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