Enbridge official testifies aging pipeline needs replacing

November 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An official with Enbridge Energy testified Wednesday that the company's aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota is increasingly subject to corrosion and cracking, and that its maintenance needs are expected to grow rapidly unless the company is allowed to replace it.

The testimony launched a 12-day, trial-like "evidentiary hearing" before Administrative Law Judge Ann O'Reilly will give officially recognized parties on both sides a chance to question the opposing side's witnesses. All 60 witnesses scheduled to testify —ranging from Enbridge officials to representatives of environmental, tribal, labor and oil industry groups — filed written testimony earlier, so the focus is on cross-examination.

That means Enbridge officials and their consultants will face potentially sharp but also arcane questioning as they try to persuade O'Reilly to recommend the state Public Utilities Commission grant a certificate of need for the project. Such recommendations can carry a lot of weight in Minnesota's regulatory proceedings, but the PUC is an independent body that will make its own decision.

That's scheduled to happen in late April.

Line 3 carries crude oil from Alberta through North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge wants to replace...

Read entire article at Star Tribune.


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