Enbridge will begin the route permitting process for its US$2.6 billion Sandpiper project once it receives state approval from Minnesota's Puiblic Utilities Commission. Approval on the “certificate of need” is expected in June.
Forty-two miles of the 610-mile pipeline, which runs from Tioga, North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin, are in Minnesota.
“We follow more than 65 percent of the existing utility corridors,” said Jen Maleitzke, community relations specialist with Enbridge, adding that so far, 955 of property owhers have signed easements for the pipeline.
Enbridge is also seeking approval for a Line 3 replacement project running from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. The company wants to replace Line 3, which was built in the 1960s, to maintain safety standards, reduce future maintenance and reduce the disruption to landowners and the environment.
A new 36-inch pipeline will replace the existing 34-inch line along most of the Line 3 route. When Line 3 reaches Clearbrook, it will travel in the corridor of the proposed Sandpiper route. Line 3 currently travels through Bemidji, Cass Lake and Grand Rapids, all of which “are very congested,” said Paul Meneghini, environmental senior manager for Enbridge.
A boost to municipalities
The two proposed Enbridge projects will provide about 3,100 new jobs, and about half of the jobs are expected to be staffed from the local workforce, Maleitzke said. The projects will also generate about $6.5 million in taxes for local municipalities, thus lowering taxes for residents, Maleitzke added.
(Image provided by Enbridge)