LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nearly six years to replace Line 3 is too long
My family has farmed in Clearwater County for 85 years. As farmers, we take pride in our land and work hard to take care of the soil and water around us. We also take very seriously planning our farming operations, including rotating our crops and maintaining our equipment.
For 48 years, we've hosted six pipelines on our property and have always had a good relationship with the company. In 2014, we received a letter from Enbridge about the company's intention to replace its Line 3 pipeline. Since that initial letter, we've worked with Enbridge on the easement for the replacement pipe and have considered our farming plans to accommodate construction.
That was nearly six years ago. And still no replacement project. When we have equipment in need of maintenance on our farm, we take care of it promptly so there are no future issues. I would think that the state of Minnesota would appreciate an energy company wanting to replace aging infrastructure and invest in local communities. Instead, Enbridge has been subject to years of regulatory scrutiny, tons of public meetings and seemingly exhaustive reviews. One state agency has even questioned the need for a project while another approved it.
As a farmer trying to plan my operation, I'd sure appreciate knowing when construction will actually come through my fields, instead of spending years planning with no execution. The state of Minnesota needs to appreciate the burden it has put on landowners across the right of way due to this process.
Right now, I'm planning for construction later this year and spring of 2021, based on yet another approval from the Public Utilities Commission and an expected Pollution Control Agency decision this fall. Let's hope Gov. Walz does the right thing and finally lets this project move forward, giving landowners some certainty to plan.