MPCA acts to preserve authority over Line 3 replacement project

Contact: Darin Broton, 651-226-0078

Saint Paul, Minn.  — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency today issued a denial without prejudice of Enbridge’s request for 401 Certification of the Line 3 replacement project. The MPCA informed the company that it is unable to issue a 401 Certification in light of a recent Court of Appeals decision and because additional information is needed to ensure compliance with water quality standards. The MPCA’s denial without prejudice does not prevent Enbridge from reapplying for 401 Certification in the future with the additional information required.
 
In June, the Court of Appeals found the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) inadequate, and MPCA cannot issue a 401 Certification until the Public Utility Commission (PUC) deems the EIS adequate. In addition, the MPCA required additional information regarding three primary areas – oil spill response modeling in the Lake Superior Watershed, a pre- and post- construction monitoring plan for aquatic resources, and a revised proposal for mitigating more than 400 acres of forested wetlands that will be impacted during construction. 

The 401 Certification is required for any entity applying for a permit that may result in a discharge into waters of the United States. The State is required to act on a request for certification within a reasonable period of time, which shall not exceed one year. The MPCA received the Enbridge Line 3 application on October 30, 2018. In order to preserve 401 Water Quality Certification Authority, the MPCA must take action to deny the project based on currently available information.

A copy of the letter is available on the MPCA’s 401 certification for Enbridge Line 3 webpage.