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Evidentiary Hearings on Line 3 Pipeline Begin

The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project in the Superior area is seen in this file photo supplied by the company. Evidentiary hearings over the project in Minnesota are now underway. The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project in the Superior area is seen in this file photo supplied by the company. Evidentiary hearings over the project in Minnesota are now underway. |  Photo: Enbridge

November 01, 2017 06:30 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - An Enbridge Energy official kicked off a 12-day hearing by testifying that the company's aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota is increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking. Laura Kennett says its maintenance needs are expected to grow exponentially unless the company can replace it.

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The trial-like "evidentiary hearing" opened Wednesday before Administrative Law Judge Ann O'Reilly in St. Paul. The 60 witnesses scheduled to testify range from Enbridge officials and labor and oil industry allies that support the replacement, to representatives of environmental, tribal and climate change groups that oppose it.

Line 3 carries crude oil from Alberta to Enbridge's terminal in Superior. Enbridge wants to replace the 282 miles of the existing pipeline in Minnesota, which was built in the 1960s, with a new 337-mile pipeline. Construction is already underway on segments in Canada and Wisconsin.

Enbridge hopes to persuade O'Reilly to recommend that the state Public Utilities Commission approves the replacement. The PUC is scheduled to decide in April.

Environmental and tribal groups oppose the higher-capacity pipeline, saying it would contribute to climate change and pose an unacceptable risk of oil spills.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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