The in-service date has been delayed until 2019 for Enbridge Energy’s new Sandpiper pipeline and its Line 3 replacement project in Minnesota, the partnership said in its quarterly and year-end report. Costs for the projects also will increase, Enbridge said.
On June 5, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) granted a Certificate of Need to the Sandpiper Pipeline Project, which was to be completed in 2017. Opponents, however, have been vocal in their allegations that the proposed Sandpiper location might harm lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and wild rice. They contend it could affect up to 10,000 acres of land during construction.
On Sept. 14, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an order reversing the PUC’s decision. The PUC subsequently said an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be completed before the certificate of need and route permit processes begin.
Enbridge officials have said they will work with Tribal governments to avoid wild rice areas
“We have found the most effective way to have meaningful dialogue about our projects and operations is within the hundreds of meetings we’ve conducted with individual groups of stakeholders including landowners, community groups, lake associations, townships, city, tribal, county and state leadership, emergency responders and others,” Lorraine Little, Enbridge senior manager, U.S. public affairs, said last month.
The work is expected to add more than $2.3 billion in direct spending to the Minnesota economy, mostly from construction expenditures.