SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural has issued a permit for wetland and waterway crossings required for Enbridge to replace a 14-mile segment of pipeline known as “Line 3” in Douglas County.
Line 3 extends from Alberta, Canada through North Dakota and Minnesota to Superior. The project in Wisconsin involves replacing the 1960s vintage 34 inch pipe with a new 36 inch diameter pipeline that could carry up to 760,000 barrels per day. The pipeline would cross approximately 14 miles of land mostly following the old pipeline route in the town of Superior, village of Superior and city of Superior, terminating at the Enbridge Superior Terminal.
Enbridge has also proposed construction of a new 30-inch diameter crude oil pipeline, called “Sandpiper” that could carry up to 375,000 barrels per day and extend 600 miles from the Bakken Shale region in North Dakota through Minnesota to Superior.
“At this time we are only addressing the permits for Line 3. The next steps for our review of the Sandpiper permit application will depend on the regulatory decision process in the state of Minnesota,” said Ben Callan, DNR project manager. “We do not know how recent reports of investment by the company in a pipeline through Iowa and Illinois will affect the Sandpiper project proposal at this time.”
Before any construction can occur on Line 3, permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers will be addressed through a separate federal process.
The DNR has completed an environmental impact statement (or EIS) process to evaluate the potential impacts of both Line 3 and Sandpiper to provide information to the public and decision makers in advance of any regulatory decisions.
The environmental impact statement is meant to inform decision makers, agencies, tribes, local governments and the public about the environmental effects associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipelines in Wisconsin.
The department prepared a draft environmental impact statement in compliance with NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code. The draft statement was available for public review from February 24 to March 25, 2016. A public hearing was held at the Superior Public Library on March 10, 2016, with more than 70 individuals attending. The department has summarized and responded to all the public comments received.
The comment and response document is included in the final environmental impact statement. Both the final environmental impact statement and the DNR permit for the Line 3 project can be found by searching the DNR website for “Enbridge.”