Minnesota judge finds need for Enbridge Line 3 replacement (audio)

Duluth News Tribune L3R ALJ Decision Graphic.jpg

LIUNA welcomed a report issued today by Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Ann O'Reilly recommending that the state's Public Utilities Commission allow Enbridge to replace the company's aging Line 3 Pipeline, but disputed the report's claim in-trench replacement along the current route would be preferable to the company's proposed route.  

LIUNA is a formal party in the Line 3 proceedings, and the union members have turned out by the hundreds to public meetings over the nearly two-year permitting process for the proposed $2.6B pipeline project. 

The union's analysis and support for the project were cited in coverage of the judge's decision by the Duluth News Tribune (ready full story here) as well as Minnesota Public Radio (listen to MPR audio here):

But Kevin Pranis, a spokesperson for the Laborers International Union of North America in Minnesota and North Dakota, said there are two big challenges to replacing Line 3 along its current route.

"One of which is there are safety and integrity concerns because there are so many pipelines in that corridor," he said. "Replacing a pipeline, while technically possible, certainly poses more risks than we would want to see for a replacement."

More importantly, Pranis said, the current pipeline corridor runs through the reservations of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. And in a statement last November, the Leech Lake band said it "will not allow any replacement of Line 3 whether in trench or alongside the current Line 3."

Click the link below to read the LIUNA Minnesota/North Dakota Statement on the decision.