Updated: 03/13/2014 10:34 PM
Created: 03/13/2014 9:29 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Homeowners, land owners, and curious residents of Carlton County packed the transportation building to hear more about Enbridge Energy's Sandpiper Pipeline project Thursday evening.
The big question is where would this multi-billion dollar pipeline go?
North Dakota Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Enbridge Energy, is offering up two options. A northern route would follow existing Enbridge pipelines to Superior. The southern route is Enbridge's preferred route and would go into new territory, across Carlton County.
"It will be a new corridor for Enbridge but it's not a new corridor in terms of...utilities and other things," said Lorraine Little, the Senior Manager of U.S. Public Affairs for Enbridge.
Little said there are some construction challenges on the northern route and that's why the southern route is preferred.
They are, however, open to hearing different options. The Public Utilities Commission regulates the pipeline permitting process. They will record all of the options and determine which alternatives move forward.
Many of those at the meeting had a lot invested.
"Back in...July they sent me a letter saying they were going to put a pipeline through my maple sugar operation," said Steve Schulstrom with the Carlton County Land Stewards.
Some residents offered up entirely new routes through Carlton County, but many asked Enbridge to use the existing northern route, for the sake of wildlife.
"Enbridge already has a pipeline corridor through Minnesota, the northern route," said Betsy Dugan of Wrenshall.
"Another existing pipeline route is available and should be used... no new pipeline corridors here," said Larry Weber of Blackhoof Township.
The Public Utilities Commission says this is just the beginning of the route permitting process for Enbridge. They also have to get a Certificate of Need before any construction could begin.
The commission is taking comments and suggestions for other routes through April 4. To get more information on the Sandpiper Pipeline project click here.
To submit comments, contact Larry Hartman with the Minnesota Department of Commerce via mail, email, or fax.
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