The public battle within the permit process for Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline is heating up this fall.  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is hosting two different comment periods right now:

1. Final Environmental Impact Statement Adequacy

The public comment period for the adequacy of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is closing on October 2.  Unlike the public forum that was opened for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, at this time the state is only seeking comments on whether the FEIS provides substantive responses to issues raised in the scoping period and if the document was prepared in compliance with Minnesota law (Chapter 116D and Minn. R. 4410.0200 to 4410.6500). Any comment that is not strictly about adequacy according to state statute (for example “Water is Life!”) will be thrown out.

Comments can be emailed to Please include “Line 3 Project Final EIS Adequacy” and the Commission's docket number 14-916 or 15-137 in the subject.

2.  Public Hearings on the Certificate of Need and Route Applications

Enbridge needs two different permits from the State of Minnesota for its new Line 3 pipeline - a "Certificate of Need" and a "Route Permit."  From September 26th to November 22, the PUC will hold 9 public hearings across Minnesota overseen by an Administrative Law Judge. The public will have the opportunity to question witnesses and offer oral and written comments into the record at the hearings. This is an opportunity to say anything we want to say about the project.  The witnesses are provided by Enbridge and by Friends of the Headwaters, the two groups who formally proposed routes for the project. The PUC is supposed to take all of the comments and testimony into account before making a decision in the Spring of 2018.  This is the time to make it clear that our community is united in the struggle to defend our water.

All meetings are 1-4pm and 6-9pm for the following dates and locations:

Sept. 26, 2017: Thief River Falls

Ralph Engelstad Arena

525 Brooks Avenue, North Thief River Falls

Sept. 28, 2017: St. Paul

St. Paul Intercontinental Hotel

11 East Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul

Oct. 10, 2017: Grand Rapids

IRA Civic Center

1401 NW 3rd Avenue, Grand Rapids

Oct. 11, 2017 McGregor

East Lake Community Center

36666 State Highway 65 McGregor

Oct. 12, 2017: Hinkley

Grand Casino Hinckley

777 Lady Luck Drive, Hinckley

Oct. 17, 2017: Bemidji

Sanford Center, 1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji

Oct. 18, 2017: Duluth

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

350 Harbor Drive, Duluth

Oct. 25, 2017: Cross Lake

Cross Lake Community Center

14126 Daggett Pine Road, Cross Lake

Oct. 26, 2017: St. Cloud

River’s Edge Convention Center

10 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud

If you are unable to attend the hearings, you can still submit comments in the following ways:


Mail: Scott Ek, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101



Please include the Commission's Docket Numbers and OAH Docket Numbers in the subject line of all communications:

Certificate of Need: Commission Docket 14-916, and OAH Docket 65-2500-32764

Route: Commission Docket 15-137 and OAH Docket 65-2500-33377

Evidentiary Hearings

Separate from the public hearings and comments, formal evidentiary hearings will be held at the Public Utilities Commission in St. Paul throughout November. Intervening parties will then have the chance to cross examine expert witnesses and provide testimony. The 13 Youth Climate Interveners, the 5 directly impacted Ojibwe Bands (White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Red Lake Band of Ojibwe), Honor the Earth, Sierra Club, and Friends of the Headwaters are all official intervening parties that may cross examine witnesses and provide testimony.

WHERE: Public Utilities Commission Large Hearing Room - 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN

WHEN: November 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9, 2017. Saint Paul 9:30 am - 4:30 pm (and if needed, November 13, 14, and 15, 2017)

More information about the hearings can be found here:


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