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Appeals Court rejects petition to halt construction on Enbridge's Minnesota pipeline

Minneapolis Star Tribune logo Minneapolis Star Tribune 2/3/2021 Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune
a person wearing a costume: Enbridge utility contractors worked in December on the company’s pipeline project across northern Minnesota in Carlton. © Star Tribune/Star Tribune/ALEX KORMANN - Star Tribune/Star Tribune/TNS Enbridge utility contractors worked in December on the company’s pipeline project across northern Minnesota in Carlton.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals Tuesday denied a petition from two Ojibwe bands to halt construction of Enbridge's controversial Line 3 replacement project across northern Minnesota.

In December, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and the White Earth Band of Ojibwe petitioned the appellate court to suspend state regulators' approval of Enbridge's new $2.6 billion pipeline and stop construction.

The tribes claimed that without a stay of Line 3's construction "their treaty-protected interests in the land, waters, plants, animals and environment" would be destroyed or damaged by construction — as would their cultural and religious rights.

a person wearing a costume: Enbridge utility contractors worked in December on the company's pipeline project across northern Minnesota in Carlton. © Star Tribune/Star Tribune/ALEX KORMANN - Star Tribune/Star Tribune/TNS Enbridge utility contractors worked in December on the company's pipeline project across northern Minnesota in Carlton.

Enbridge claimed there was "no legitimate basis" for the tribes' filing, saying the petition failed "to recognize the exhaustive and meticulous review of the Line 3 Replacement Project.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge started construction in early December and expects to complete construction by the end of September.

Environmental groups and some Indian bands have said the pipeline — which follows a new route — will open a new region of pristine waters to the prospect of oil spills, as well as exacerbate climate change by allowing for more oil production.

Enbridge has said the new pipeline is a critical safety enhancement. The current Line 3 is so corroded it is running at only half of capacity. The new pipeline would restore full oil flow.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

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