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Group asks regulators to check Enbridge’s pipeline capacity



FILE - A No Trespassing sign is visible at a Enbridge Energy pipeline drilling pad along a rail line that traces the Minnesota-Wisconsin border south of Jay Cooke State Park in Minnesota, June 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An environmental group is asking Minnesota utility regulators to investigate Enbridge’s additions to its existing oil pipeline capacity which could make the company’s controversial new $2.6 billion pipeline unnecessary.

A filing by the Indigenous organization Honor the Earth with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission says Enbridge made no mention of its capacity additions during hearings for the pipeline, which is a replacement for the aging Line 3.

“It is difficult to see how (the new pipeline) is in the public interest in light of the apparent fact that Enbridge has already achieved capacity addition goals through other less impactful means,” Honor the Earth said in its filing, the Star Tribune reported.

Line 3 runs from Alberta, Canada, to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Calgary-based Enbridge has already replaced the segments in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The company wants to replace the entire line, which was built in the 1960s, because the older sections are corroding, so the pipeline can run at only half its original capacity.

Calgary-based Enbridge said it has been adding capacity to its “mainline” across Minnesota through various improvements.

“There have been several initiatives that Enbridge has implemented in recent years to optimize its pipeline network to better meet customer demands,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve talked about these optimizations and efficiency-led capacity increases in a variety of public forums.”

Tuesday’s PUC filing is the latest salvo in a six-year battle over the new pipeline.

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