Friends of the Headwaters, a group of people from across Hubbard County, was organized out of concern about Enbridge, a Canadian corporation, and its plans to build a 30 inch pipeline through the Mississippi Headwaters and Hubbard County. Learn more at friendsoftheheadwaters.org. Enbridge has a two part application before the Public Utilities Commission at MN's Dept of Commerce for this Sandpiper Pipeline project. The PUC will consider Enbridge's "Certificate of Need" and their "Certificate of Route." The PUC has set a Public Hearing Schedule which began in Crookston on March 3rd and continues across the state through March 13th. The hearing date for Park Rapids is set for March 12th. The PUC will close the public comment period for all citizens on Apr 4th. Given the magnitude of this project and both its short term and long term impacts and consequences to the state and Hubbard County, we believe this short public comment period is unfair to all of our residents many of which are "seasonal" and may not even know what's happening here. It's our opinion that this PUC schedule needs to be extended until August 1st, to allow input from our summer residents. The petition as written is not asking you to take a pro or con position on the project, only to allow more time for input from a properly informed public.
To: Larry Hartman, Environmental Review Manager - PUC
From: [Your Name]
WHEREAS, Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership doing business as North Dakota Pipeline Company has applied to the State of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for permission to construct and operate a new crude oil pipeline called the Sandpiper Pipeline and”
WHEREAS, the Sandpiper Pipeline, scheduled begin construction in 2015 would carry 375,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil per day from the Bakken Shale Oil formation in North Dakota across Minnesota to an Enbridge shipping terminal in Superior, Wisconsin and;
WHEREAS, a significant portion of the Sandpiper Crude Oil Pipeline’s proposed route that crosses the Straight River, one of northwest Minnesota’s best trout waters as well as the Mississippi River immediately below Itasca State Park and near many of the highest quality lakes and marshes in northern Minnesota;
WHEREAS, the Minnesota Public Utility Commission has scheduled public meetings, hearings and public comment periods on the proposed Sandpiper and the public comment period ends on April 4th, 2014 and;
WHEREAS, many northern Minnesota residents own property along the proposed route and would be very interested in learning more about the route, alternatives to the route and how streams, lakes and marshes of concern to them might be affected by the proposed crude oil pipeline and;
WHEREAS, many northern Minnesota residents interested in learning about and/or participating in the public review of this crude oil pipeline are seasonal residents in Minnesota and are either unaware of the proposal or unable to fully participate in the public review process;
WE HEREBY RESOLVE TO PETITION THE MINNESOTA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION TO EXTEND THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD AND HOLD ADDITIONAL PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS AND HEARINGS DURING A PERIOD THAT IS MORE INCLUSIVE OF ITS MEMBERS AND REQUESTS THAT THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FULL PUBLIC EDUCATION ABOUT AND PARTICIPATION IN THE PERMITTING PROCESS FOR THE SANDPIPER CRUDE OIL PIPELINE NOT END UNTIL AUGUST 1ST, 2014.