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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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Release: Minnesota Lawmakers Submit Request to MPCA to Deny Line 3 Pipeline Permit

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

St. Paul, Minn. – Thirty-four state lawmakers submitted a letter today to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop, urging action to deny issuance of the agency's 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline expansion. A copy of the letter is available here.

“The MPCA has correctly acknowledged the reality of the climate crisis in Minnesota,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis). “The agency now has the opportunity to make a significant difference in reducing global carbon emissions by denying the Line 3 water certification.” 

“The Line 3 pipeline expansion will carry dirty tar sands oil and will significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka), chair of the House Climate Action Caucus. “Line 3 takes us in the wrong direction on climate.”

Members of the State House and Senate expressed concerns around the pipeline’s impacts on waters and wetlands, environmental damage contributing to the climate crisis, violation of treaty rights, and the Department of Commerce's assertion that Line 3 is not needed.

"For almost 60 years, Minnesota has hosted a web of Canada’s Enbridge’s pipelines including Line 3,” said Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton). “Unfortunately, they have not been good neighbors and stewards of our land of 10,000 lakes as evidenced by their use of poor-quality materials, several ruptures and leaks, and damage done to our land and water. Now is the time for clean energy, for reclaiming our lands, and repairing the damage done. Now is the time we rise to ensure a healthy environment for the next seven generations."

New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have recently denied section 401 water permits to similar large fossil fuel infrastructure projects, citing both climate and water concerns. The MPCA has the authority to deny Enbridge's application for a 401 Water Certification Permit for the Line 3 project.

“Issuing a Water Quality Certification for the proposed Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline expansion will be absolutely dangerous and irresponsible,” said Senator Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Minneapolis). “Instead of cleaning up their liability of an old oil pipeline, Enbridge wants to abandon it in the ground forever and cut a brand-new energy corridor through Ojibwe treaty land. This new pipeline will threaten some of Minnesota’s best lakes, wetlands, and wild rice beds.”

The MPCA must act by November 14th of this year.