PUC Comment Period for Enbridge Line 3 Ends Jan 16th 2020

The stage is set for an encore performance of the PUC’s “Ignore the Risk.”

Minnesotans have opposed this pipeline since the beginning, with 68,000 people testifying against the need and the proposed route.  Two times, you have been court ordered to conduct adequate environmental impact statements by the Appeals Court, and we would like you to do your duty, after all we believe that you are the Public Utilities Commission, not the Corporate Utilities Commission. 

The new statement neglects to define the Lake Superior Watershed, and FEIS does not Protect Gichi-Gami.

"Here are my formal comments on the FEIS supplement, which has just been submitted for public review.  In that, I find that this is sadly inadequate, and does not protect the waters of Minnesota. The information on spill impacts to the Lake Superior Watershed fails to recognize the value of a healthy watershed, ignores our changing climate and extreme rain events, and admits that impacts of a spill cannot be predicted.

Nothing of substance has changed in the revised FEIS since the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled it inadequate on June 3rd, 2019. The new statement neglects to define the Lake Superior Watershed and only looks at one additional site (Little Otter Creek), claiming that a tar sands spill in the creek will not reach Lake Superior. But the claim is based on outdated modeling that neglects to factor in Minnesota’s changing climate. The report ignores the reality that Duluth and the region within 70 miles of the city have experienced three mega rain events in the years 2012-2018--that’s one 500 year rain and two 1000 year rains. Even if oil doesn’t reach Lake Superior, the oil will affect the overall health of this amazing watershed--the largest tributary to Lake Superior. The FEIS authors admit in Ch.10, pg 1 that they have failed to do what the court requested-- “the analysis in this chapter cannot predict the impact of a spill.” Enbridge also admits in its Application to Cross Public Waters (pg 22) that it cannot comply with Minnesota Rules 6135.1100. 

The FEIS revision has clearly failed the Court of Appeals order. Our Governor, Attorney General, and State agency commissioners and legislators all place the responsibility on someone else to do what is right. Public Utilities Commissioners, this is your opportunity to lead us to a livable Minnesota future. I am asking for a momentous watershed moment--right here, right now. The FEIS does not protect this superior lake, or any one of us. Deny the certificate of need/route permits!" -- Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth

The PUC approved permits for the deeply flawed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in 2018. Line 3 would run 340 miles through northern Minnesota, burrowing under the Mississippi headwaters, cutting through state forests, and crossing more than 75 miles of wetlands and more than 200 water bodies.

According to its own documents, Enbridge openly admits it can’t build Line 3 and meet all of Minnesota’s water quality standards, “given northern Minnesota’s topography and environment (e.g., avoiding wetlands).”

Line 3 opponents filed three major challenges with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The first case challenged Line 3’s environmental impact statement. Last fall, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found the statement inadequate because it failed to consider the impacts of a spill in the Lake Superior Watershed. That seems like a major oversight the PUC should have caught. The state has now patched up the environmental impact statement and the project is going back to the PUC for approval.

The PUC also will accept written public comments to the following questions:

  • Is the revised FEIS adequate?
  • In light of the revised FEIS, what action should the Commission take on the application for a certificate of need for the Line 3 Replacement Project?
  • In light of the revised FEIS, what action should the Commission take on the application for a pipeline routing permit for the Line 3 Replacement Project?

The reply comment period closes Thursday, Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m.

Submit written comments through <mn.gov/puc>, select the <Comment> on the main menu to connect to the public comment page.

  1. Mail comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, 121 7th Pace East, Suite #350, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55101.
  2. Email comments on any docket to [email protected] Comments relating to Energy Facilities, may be directed to [email protected].us.
  3. Fax comments to 651-297-7073.

The PUC will take these comments into consideration when reconsidering it’s Line 3 votes on a Route Permit and Certificate of Need.

Comment Sources Downloads: 

Honor the Earth Document with sources

PUC Comments on Adequacy of Spill Assessment

Source: https://healingmnstories.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/puc-to-offer-encore-performance-of-ignore-the-risk-starring-enbridge-line-3/

January 10, 2020 at 11:00am - January 16, 2020
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
121 7th Pl E
Suite 350
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