The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comments on applications related to the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project. The DNR is accepting comments on applications for several different licenses and permits needed to construct and operate the Line 3 Replacement Project across northern Minnesota.
Line 3 is one of six Enbridge oil pipelines that cross Minnesota. Enbridge is proposing to replace the existing Line 3 with a new, higher capacity line. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has granted Enbridge a certificate of need and a route permit for the Line 3 replacement, which would follow the existing Line 3 route in places and a new alignment in other areas.
In addition to the DNR’s consultation with tribal governments and local government units, the DNR is also seeking public comment on the following permit applications:
- Utility Crossing License for State Land
- Utility Crossing License for Public Water
- Water Appropriation for Hydrostatic Testing and Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)
- Water Appropriation for Trench and Construction Dewatering
- Water Appropriation for Dust Control
- Water Appropriation for Construction Near Gully 30 (calcareous fen)
- Work in Public Waters for Public Water Wetlands on Private Land
- Work in Public Waters for Willow River Bridge
- Calcareous Fen Management Plan (Gully 30)
- Threatened and Endangered Species Taking Permit
All permit and license applications are available for review at mndnr.gov/line3.
In addition to obtaining these DNR approvals, the project would also need additional approvals from tribal governments, local governments, and other state and federal agencies.
The DNR will accept comments for 60 days, from March 18 to 4:30 p.m. May 17. Comments may be submitted online at mndnr.gov/line3. Submissions are limited to 9,999 characters per application and up to four attachments, each less than 20 MB. Comments may also be mailed to the DNR at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul MN 55155-4025, Attention Line 3 Replacement Applications.
The most helpful comments will address:
- Additional information needed in the application
- Identification of specific resources or areas that warrant special consideration
- Recommendations on permit conditions or limitations
The DNR will consider all comments that are within the regulatory scope of the proposed licenses and permits as part of its decisions on the applications. The DNR will not provide individual responses to comments.
In April, the DNR will host three webinars to provide information on the proposed project and permit applications. Closer to these events, the DNR will issue a separate news release to announce the webinar details and all information will be available at mndnr.gov/line3.