In response: replacing Line 3 will help protect wild rice

If we are going to discuss something as sacred as wild rice, readers should at least know the truth, and that is that Enbridge pipelines have successfully coexisted with some of the most vibrant wild rice beds in the world for seven decades, replacing Line 3 will better protect wild rice beds for decades to come, and that is because the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa saw to it in their agreement with Enbridge.

Fond du Lac negotiated and then led the longest and most extensive Tribal Cultural Resources Properties Survey ever performed on an energy infrastructure project in Minnesota. They are to be commended on this groundbreaking work. More than 30 Tribes consulted in the Army Corps of Engineers process.  

Enbridge has not only met the $100 million in promised spending with Native owned companies, training and employment, recent figures show that we have now exceeded that figure — over $110 million and we’re still going.

From the beginning, Enbridge has valued and respected the views and concerns of communities, including sovereign Tribal Nations. The Line 3 Replacement is the most studied pipeline project in Minnesota history with six years of regulatory and permitting review. This has included 70 public comment meetings, appellate review and reaffirmation of a 13,500-page Environmental Impact Statement, 320 route modifications in response to stakeholder input, and multiple reviews and approvals by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for the project’s certificate of need and route permit. Now a contested case hearing for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s 401 Water Quality Certification is being overseen by a fourth administrative law judge assigned to review this project.  

Energy is essential to how we live our lives — it fuels our communities and powers the economy. It is especially important that energy remains affordable, safe and reliable — for all of us. In order to make responsible decisions about replacing Line 3, people need to hear the truth.  

The truth is the Line 3 project is about safety, replacing an aging pipeline with one made of thicker steel with technologically advanced coatings will better protect communities, and the environment for generations to come while keeping energy flowing for people who rely on it every day.

Patrick Hughley

Enbridge Energy

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