There have been a lot of questions raised about the route for the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project, so I thought this information might be helpful to your readers. I am an engineer with over 30 years’ experience. I have worked for Minnesota’s Office of Pipeline Safety, and now for Enbridge. In both cases it has been my overriding responsibility to ensure the safety of people and the environment.
Our preferred route protects people. Communities along the existing route — such as Bemidji, Cass Lake, Cohasset, Grand Rapids, and La Prairie — have grown up and around the pipeline, while the proposed route is directed away from population centers. Having a pipeline placed away from cities is the most important step we can take to keep people safe.
This route protects the environment. Along the current route there are nearly 20 lakes that are in close proximity to Line 3. These are many of Minnesota’s favorite lakes. The new route is designed to steer clear of our lakes, and it poses a far smaller risk to our surface waters.
The preferred route is not new at all. It follows the same corridor as other oil and gas pipelines, electrical transmission lines, and railroads for over 80 percent of its length. Additionally, 95 percent of the landowners along this new route have already granted us a lease, which shows their strong support for this project.
Enbridge’s pipeline corridor through northern Minnesota is similar to a highway. With Line 3 now being run at a fraction of its capacity, it’s like closing down a lane on a freeway. We need all the lanes open and in new condition to help ensure that Minnesota and America continue to have reliable energy from our good neighbors to the north.
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