In accordance with the COVID-19 guidance developed by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has made the safe decision to cancel all in-person, public events for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 replacement project to support the health of our communities.
This includes the open houses and public forums in Bemidji (March 17), Grand Rapids (March 18) and Mahnomen (April 1). In lieu of public hearings, Jobs for Minnesotans urges you to submit your comments in writing to the MPCA online prior to the April 10, 2020 deadline. You can do so by clicking here.
The MPCA has also announced plans for three 90-minute telephone town hall meetings. The public can call into the telephone town hall to share a two-minute comment to be included in the official public record and listen to other comments. The telephone town hall meetings are scheduled on the following dates and times:
- Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 2 – 3:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 7 from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
- Thursday, April 9 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.
As you craft your comments, please consider including these messages asking the MPCA to promptly process and approve the permits and authorizations needed for the Line 3 Replacement Project to move forward:
- The replacement of Line 3 is needed in order to meet the state’s energy needs and after 5 years of permitting and regulatory review has become the most thoroughly studied pipeline project in Minnesota history.
- Replacing an aging pipeline with new, modern construction, is the safest and best option for protecting the environment and communities.
- As the most thoroughly studied pipeline project in Minnesota history, we believe the environmental, water and wetland studies that have occurred over the last several years related to the project have been thorough and complete.
- Enbridge is complying with federal and state wetland laws and protections, and the route was specifically and carefully selected to mitigate the impact to water bodies and wetlands.
- The Route Permit was approved, confirmed and issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission after a rigorous Environmental Impact Statement and public input process spanning more than five years.
- Enbridge will continue to be good environmental stewards from the construction of the project across the state of Minnesota to maintenance and monitoring of the pipeline once it’s operational.
- This project is a critical $2.6 billion dollar investment in Minnesota’s energy infrastructure and will provide quality jobs to thousands of Minnesota workers during the course of the Project, including 8,600 family-sustaining construction jobs.
St. Paul, Minn. (March 23, 2020) – Jobs for Minnesotans today released the following statement addressing the Court of Appeals decision remanding the air permit for the PolyMet NorthMet Project back to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for more information:
“Today’s Court of Appeals ruling on PolyMet is unfortunate, given that PolyMet has done all the MPCA and other agencies have asked it to do – and more – through a tough regulatory review process. We’re increasingly concerned by court rulings that appear to effectively transfer regulatory authority to the judiciary from agencies long established under state statute and staffed with experienced experts in the scientific fields relevant to decisions, such as air permitting. We support PolyMet providing any information deemed necessary, but are concerned about the signal being sent to prospective investors in Minnesota as a result of such a prolonged regulatory and judicial process with no sense of predictable outcome, even when our state’s tough standards are met.
“We continue to look forward to the approximately 360 family-supporting jobs and estimated $515 million in annual revenue this project will bring to northeastern Minnesota communities, who need it now more than ever as they contend with the prospect of enormous losses related to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage PolyMet to stand strong with our allies in business, labor and communities who believe this project is right for Minnesota.”
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 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies 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
Minnesota Public Radio
A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a challenge by environmental groups against the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, saying the Interior Department had the authority to reverse itself and renew the project’s federal mineral rights leases.
The Obama administration tried to kill Twin Metals by rejecting the company’s application to renew its leases, citing the risk of acid mine drainage to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. But the Trump administration gave the project a new lease on life when it reinstated those leases last year.
Duluth News Tribune
I believe in the ability of our state, federal, and tribal governments to evaluate industrial projects based on their merit and environmental protections and to hold them to those standards.
A lot has changed in the world of mining in the last 100, 50, and even 20 years, resulting in safer, more environmentally responsible operations. A moratorium on mining ignores both our country’s and the world’s need for precious minerals and the technological advances we are making every day to ensure safer mining operations.
Duluth News Tribune
Brian Hanson and Craig Olson
Businesses rely on predictability in the regulatory process to project and plan for investment. The trades depend on business expansion. Communities require a strong tax base and family-sustaining wages to fund schools and infrastructure. Without one element, the other falters. If we want to continue to produce a talented workforce and vibrant communities, Minnesota cannot afford to position itself at a further disadvantage with this added, unnecessary layer of process.
Like PolyMet, we are committed to staying the course. We must overcome this setback together. Our way of life and the livelihood of our region depend on it.