St. Paul, Minn. (November 30, 2020) – Today, after six years of rigorous and thorough scientific regulatory review, the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project received the final permit clearing the path for construction to begin. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued the storm water permit representing the final step to full regulatory approval.
“Today is nothing short of a triumph for what we’ve been fighting for all along – a predictable, fair and thorough regulatory process in the state of Minnesota,” said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “This is the right time with the right environmental protections for Enbridge’s $2.6 billion private investment in our state.”
Jobs for Minnesotans and its members commend Governor Walz, the dedicated MPCA, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioners and agency professionals for fulfilling their responsibility to Minnesotans. And, for approving the best option to protect our communities and environment replacing an aging pipeline on which the state relies.
“As the most thoroughly reviewed project in Minnesota’s history, it’s time for this project to be built and bring the much needed 4,200 union construction jobs to greater Minnesota,” said Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota Construction and Building Trades Council. “We now call on all Minnesotans to support a safe and respectful work environment for the communities along the corridor and construction workers as this project is built.”
The Line 3 Replacement Project has been reviewed by multiple state and federal agencies. Enbridge has also collaborated and signed agreements with tribal governments along the right-of-way including Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Additionally, to minimize transmissions of COVID-19 during construction, Enbridge has also submitted a comprehensive COVID preparedness plan to the Minnesota Department of Health aligning with its deep commitment to protecting the health and safety of its employees, contractors and the public.
The Line 3 project will bring a $2.6 billion investment in the state’s energy infrastructure and 6,500 local jobs over the course of construction. This comes at a time where unemployment rates along the corridor of the project’s route are still painfully high and average annual incomes fall well below the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area even in a normal economy. Most importantly, the project is needed to replace an aging pipeline and protect Minnesota’s environment for generations.
About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 members and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Board Chair