DNR asks regulators to 'strongly consider' alternative route for pipeline

Author:
Updated:
Original:

On the last day of public comment on a proposed oil pipeline through northern Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asked state regulators to consider rerouting it.

Thursday the DNR submitted a regulatory filing saying the state Public Utilities Commission should "strongly consider" one of several alternatives to the route proposed by Enbridge Energy for the Sandpiper pipeline.

The $2.6 billion, 610-mile project has already been approved in North Dakota. It would allow oil to be transported by the pipeline from oil-rich western North Dakota through Minnesota and to Superior, Wisconsin, where it could be shipped.

Earlier this month, the PUC voted unanimously to study a new route for the pipeline.

In Minnesota, Enbridge's preferred route runs east from North Dakota over to Clearbrook, then turns south towards Park Rapids and before resuming east.

In a letter to the PUC the DNR says:

"The Preferred Route for the Sandpiper Project is proposed in a region of the state that contains a concentration of important lakes for fisheries, trout streams, sensitive aquifers, public conservation lands, and mineral and forestry resources."

In the letter, the DNR says it's concerned the proposed route could become a "new corridor for multiple pipelines," referencing a plan by Enbridge to rebuild another pipeline along the Sandpiper route.

According to the Star Tribune, Enbridge says the preferred route is the best choice for natural resources.

"It travels along existing utility right of way, is shorter than other proposed alternatives and minimizes impacts on people and the environment," said company spokeswoman Lorraine Little in an e-mailed statement to the newspaper on Friday.

The company estimates the alternatives to the proposed route would add between 74 and 182 miles to the project and cost between $185 and $455 million more to construct. Additionally, Enbridge says the alternatives could delay project completion by three years.

Little says North American refineries want access to the supply of oil from western North Dakota and Canada. They feel the line is "a key, long-term link from North Dakota to a variety of markets."

The company says construction of the pipeline will create 3,000 construction jobs, 1,500 of which would be local hires in Minnesota.

Next Up

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Wild take Game 1 over Vegas in overtime thriller

It was an epic dual between Cam Talbot and Marc-Andre Fluery.

Taylor Rogers

Twins defense, bullpen squanders another rally

This is the story of the 2021 Twins.

Minneapolis police

3 Mpls officers injured on night of shootings, stabbings and fights

It was a tense weekend for the city of Minneapolis.

Fruen Mill in Minneapolis.

Teen in serious condition after fall at abandoned Minneapolis mill

Multiple urban explorers have been hurt at the Fruen Mill.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center City Council votes to create department for noncriminal calls

The resolution is named after Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who were both killed by police in Brooklyn Center.

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 7.54.26 AM

Train derails while passing by lake in Albert Lea

The Union Pacific train derailed Saturday afternoon.

Kaprizov, Wild

5 questions for the Wild's playoff series against Vegas

The Wild seem to have the advantage, but can they win their first playoff series since 2015?

police tape, crime scene

Young girl shot in the head in north Minneapolis

The girl was outside when she was struck by the bullet, police said.

prison, Rush City cell block

Former Army Green Beret and U of M student sentenced for Russian espionage

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, was sentenced to 188 months in prison.

Miguel Sano

Miguel SanĂ³'s 8th inning blast ends Twins losing streak

The 5-4 victory over the A's snapped a five-game losing streak.

Related