Since Enbridge proposes to alter (fill and/or excavate) protected wetlands for the Line 3 project, the company has applied for a permit under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), governing placement of dredged or fill material into wetlands. Section 404 permits are issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees such activities.
The 404 permit requires the applicant to also request a water quality certification from the state under CWA Section 401. This allows the state (in this case the MPCA) to review the proposed activity in order to determine if it will comply with applicable water quality standards, and identify any conditions needed to ensure compliance. If the review finds that water quality will be protected, the 401 certification is issued and the certification and conditions become part of the 404 permit.
The MPCA follows the general process below for processing 401 certification requests. Steps in green indicate opportunities for public participation in the process.
The Line 3 application for 401 certification was received from Enbridge on October 30, 2018. The MPCA has reviewed the application. On September 27, 2019 , the MPCA denied the application without prejudice because additional information is needed to determine if the Line 3 project would comply with water quality standards. Please see the denial letter for additional information.
Certification request and supporting documents
- Enbridge Line 3 Joint Application for 401 Certification and 404 Permit (wq-wwprm1-52g)
- Enbridge Oct 29, 2018, 401 Certification Cover Letter to MPCA (wq-wwprm1-52h)
- Enbridge Antidegradation Assessment for Section 401 WQ Certification (wq-wwprm1-52i)