- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Latest on Enbridge Energy plan to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Enbridge Energy officials say they’re on track to finish construction and put the disputed Line 3 replacement crude oil pipeline into service in the second half of next year, assuming they get the remaining approvals.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the president of the Canadian company’s Liquids Pipelines division says a lot of work is ahead.

Guy Jarvis says that work includes securing at least 29 state, local and federal permits. He says that process could take until October.



Jarvis says that once those hurdles are cleared, the company could start work in November to get mobilized for “significant construction” to begin early in 2019.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday determined the project is necessary and approved the company’s preferred route across northern Minnesota with minor modifications.

___

11 a.m.

Opponents of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline gathered on the newly approved route where the line would cross the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to say they’re prepared for the next round of their battle to stop it.

Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, said at a news conference southwest of Superior, Wisconsin, that they will fight to stop the project in the regulatory process, in the legal process and with their bodies.

She stood within sight of equipment that she says Enbridge has already stockpiled in preparation for construction of the segment across Minnesota.

Referring to protests that drew thousands of people to the Standing Rock reservation in neighboring North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to rally against the Dakota Access pipeline, she says, “This is Minnesota’s Standing Rock.”

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9:15 a.m.

Fresh off approval by Minnesota regulators, Enbridge Inc. says it’s on track to finish construction and put its disputed Line 3 replacement pipeline into service in the second half of next year.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday determined the project is necessary and approved the company’s preferred route across northern Minnesota, with modifications that Enbridge considers minor.

Canada-based Enbridge calls that a “good outcome for Minnesota.” It says replacing the deteriorating old Line 3 from Alberta to Wisconsin will ensure the safety of critical energy infrastructure and ensure reliable crude oil supplies for regional refineries.

But climate change and tribal activists vow to keep fighting. Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth says they’ll use every regulatory means possible, and she threatened Standing Rock-style mass protests if necessary.

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