and its labor and
regulators of imposing
that will unfairly
delay the company’s
plan to build a $2.6
billion pipeline to carry North Dakota crude oil across northern
It is the latest challenge to the Minnesota Public Utilities
Enbridge Contests Pipeline Review Process
Commission’s review of the pipeline, a contentious process that’s
been underway for 26 months. In September, after a challenge
by environmental groups, the Minnesota Appeals Court faulted
regulators’ initial environmental review procedures. That ruling led
the five-member commission to revise the process in December.
But in a regulatory filing in February, Enbridge said the PUC got it
wrong again by imposing “unreasonable and unlawful” procedural
steps that would delay the project four to six more months until as
late as September 2017. That would be nearly four years after the
application was filed.
To speed up the process, Enbridge and its supporters want state
regulators to reconsider their requirement that a final environmental
study be submitted before launching the formal review of the
pipeline route permit and certificate of need. The Calgary-based
company argued that the process violates a state law calling for state
agencies to coordinate environmental studies and permit reviews.
The company argues that the permit review, including a trial-like
process before an administrative judge, should begin earlier, when a
draft, rather than a final, environmental study is finished. The final
environmental report would be finished before the PUC took a final
vote on the pipeline.