BEMIDJI -- The Headwaters Regional Development Commission has officially put its support behind Enbridge's proposed oil pipeline replacement project.
In a letter to the state's Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency, the HRDC announced its intention to support Enbridge's plan to replace Line 3. The HRDC works within Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen Counties.
"We were pleased when the Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to replace Line 3 in 2018 and again voted to approve the project earlier this year after the final environmental impact statement was revised," wrote HRDC Chair Cal Larson. "It is beyond time to replace Line 3 and we will need this economic boost to our region in the months to come."
The original Line 3 oil pipeline is more than 50 years old. The pipeline begins in Canada and travels through Minnesota, including areas of the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac reservations, ending in Wisconsin.
The new pipeline is proposed to take a different path, avoiding the Leech Lake and White Earth reservations, but still going through Fond du Lac. The new Line 3 would carry oil from Alberta, Canada, to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wis.
In February, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission accepted the revised final environmental impact statement of Line 3. The MPUC also approved the pipeline's route permit and certificate of need.
In April, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency held a comment period and telephone town halls. The project still requires more state and federal approvals.