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Deactivation of old Line 3 continues, Enbridge says

EnbridgeLine93CompletedMap.jpg
Map courtesy of Enbridge Energy
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With the Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project complete and newly christened Line 93, Hubbard County commissioners had questions about the old pipeline.

Christine Davis, community engagement specialist for Enbridge Energy, met with the county board on Tuesday.

Line 93 was completed last year, and oil started pumping through it in October.

The $2.9-billion pipeline crosses through a sliver of North Dakota and through northern Minnesota on its way from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. Of its approximately 1,000 miles, 337 are in Minnesota.

Eight new pump stations were installed, including one in Clover Township.

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“Oil moves at about walking speed, so we need pump stations to continue to move that oil along,” Davis explained.

A pipeline maintenance shop is also located in Park Rapids, near the airport, she said.

The old Line 3 is deactivated, but still in the ground.

“It’s been completely purged of oil. It’s been cleaned. We’ll be in the process of doing further deactivation, decommissioning efforts with that line,” Davis said.

Under the Landowner Choice Program, proposed by Enbridge and required under the certificate of need, private landowners choose whether the existing Line 3 is deactivated in place or removed from their property, subject to permitting limitations.

County commissioner Tom Krueger asked how much of the old Line 3 was removed.

“We haven’t done any of that yet,” Davis replied. “Most of them have chosen to keep it on their land because it would be another construction project on their land again.”

If removed, Krueger asked if the old pipeline is capped.

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Davis confirmed that is the case. At different roads or old valves, for example, the pipe will be cut and capped.

County commissioner Char Christenson inquired if land that Enbridge used for storage in Hubbard County was leased or purchased. “If you purchased them, will they be going back on the market?,” she asked.

Davis replied, “Many of them are leased. There were some properties that were purchased. Enbridge is in the process of evaluating each piece of land. … It’s property specific.”

Davis reminds property owners where Line 93 crosses to call Gopher State One Call at 811 or 800-252-1166 before digging.

“We are in new territory with folks, so just want to make sure people know if they’re doing any digging around our pipeline, they need to call 811 before they start doing that,” she said.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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