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Commentary: Input encouraged at public meetings on Line 3 Replacement Project

On May 15, the Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) released the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement Project.

Line 3 is an essential project for Minnesotans that will ensure the safety and environmental protection of our important natural resources while also ensuring the safe transportation of crude oil to refineries in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond.

Beginning June 6 and continuing through June 22, the DOC will hold 22 informational meetings across the state to accept comments from the public. We encourage the public's input and participation in these meetings.

The existing Line 3 pipeline will require extensive maintenance and repairs along the entire pipeline in Minnesota. As a result, replacing the 1960s-vintage pipe means we're maintaining our high safety standards, reducing future maintenance activities and creating fewer disruptions for our landowners and the environment, while restoring its original carrying capability of 760,000 barrels per day (bpd).

In planning the preferred route, Enbridge focused on a balanced approach that took into account impacts to both people and the environment. Extensive engineering and environmental planning was conducted to ensure protection of sensitive resources, maximize co-location, and apply safety considerations, including the strategic placement of permanent, accessible valve locations. The outcome is the preferred route which largely results in temporary and minor impacts, follows existing energy infrastructure for more than 80 percent of the route and has received strong landowner and county support with 95 percent of the needed private lands acquired to date.

Since we first proposed to replace Line 3 in 2015, there have been 27 public meetings and numerous public comment periods. Additionally, Enbridge has held more than 1,300 meetings in communities along the right-of-way over the past four years. The prompt replacement of Line 3 makes sense, but it also requires your input.

The public input from these meetings and written comments will help inform preparation of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project.

The public information meeting in Park Rapids will take place at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 at the Park Rapids High School Cafetorium. Written comments will be accepted through Monday, July 10, via email at, fax at 651-539-0109 or mail to

Jamie MacAlister, Environmental Review Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55101.

Information about the DEIS can viewed on the Department of Commerce website at

We invite input at the Department of Commerce public meetings closest to your community or in writing.