The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are committed to a fair, efficient, and thorough review of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project applications.
After reviewing the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ ruling regarding the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Line 3 project, both agencies have determined that, consistent with state law, they may not take final action on the applications pending before them until the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) addresses the EIS deficiency identified in the court’s remand.
Recognizing that state law both allows and encourages simultaneous work on environmental review and permit applications, the two agencies will continue their work reviewing the Line 3 applications. The court’s decision, however, does have implications for how this work will proceed.
Most notably, the MPCA will not be releasing draft permits and the 401 water quality certification on July 1 as previously scheduled. This schedule adjustment will allow MPCA to consider the additional PUC environmental review analysis before initiating its public comment process.
More generally, both agencies will fully review any additional information that becomes available through the PUC’s EIS revision process, including public input to the PUC, prior to making decisions on the pending applications. Neither agency will take final action on the Line 3 Replacement license and permit applications until there is an approved EIS.
Once the scope and timing of the EIS revision process are established by the PUC and/or courts, the DNR and MPCA will be in a better position to determine whether additional adjustments are needed to their application review processes and timelines.