(The Center Square) – On Monday, a U.S. District Court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction in the court challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval of Enbridge’s $2.6-billion Line 3 oil pipeline permits.
The ruling comes less than a week after another court denied a similar request.
“We’re pleased with this decision that acknowledges the thorough, inclusive and science-based review of the Line 3 Replacement Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which included robust public participation and consultation with 30 tribes,” Enbridge said in a statement.
“From the beginning, Enbridge has been committed to working with state and federal agencies and the spectrum of stakeholders involved in environmental permitting. That commitment continues through our continued compliance with state and federal laws, permits and policies, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).”
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa, White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Sierra Club, sued in December to stop the project, arguing the project would create “irreparable harm.”
“[T]he record before the Court indicates that most of the environmental effects stemming from the construction of Line 3 will not be ‘permanent or irreversible,’” Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
Enbridge argues the high-paying jobs created would boost the economy hammered by COVID-19, paying an estimated $65 million in Minnesota property taxes in the project’s first functional year.
“This essential maintenance and safety project enhances environmental protections,” Enbridge said. “It is also already creating significant economic benefits for Minnesota counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members including 5,200 construction jobs, millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues at a time when the state needs it most.”
The project would replace Line 3’s 337-mile long, 34-inch pipeline in Minnesota, which currently operates at 51% capacity due to corrosion, with a new 36-inch wide pipeline.
The replacement would boost average oil flow to 760,000 barrels per day.
Line 3 runs from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin.
The same day, 38 members of the DFL-led House sent President Joe Biden a letter urging him to revoke the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit for Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline.
“The new Line 3 tar sands pipeline would cut a new corridor through a water rich area of northern Minnesota, with over 200 water crossings,” they wrote. “The pipeline poses a risk to some of our cleanest water – both during construction and after from the risk of spills, degradations, and abandonment. This pipeline would cut through treaty territory where Ojibwe people hold rights to hunt, fish, and gather.”
On his first day in office, Biden revoked by Executive Order federal permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline.