Minnesota’s Infrastructure Union Responds to MPCA Decision to Subject Line 3 to Second Contested Case Hearing

Jun 3 2020

Saint Paul, MN —  Today, LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota expressed disappointment over the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s decision to order a second set of contested case hearings for the Line 3 Replacement Project before issuing a Section 401 water quality certification. The union calls the decision unprecedented and warns that it will needlessly delay a project with proven environmental and economic benefits.

“Northern Minnesota’s economy struggled before COVID, and today faces a full-scale depression with mines shutting down and thousands out of work, including many of our members,” said Joel Smith, President and Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota. “We were hopeful construction of Line 3 would begin in July and provide a lifeline for area workers. This decision is a setback that wastes more months rehashing the same tired arguments while working families struggle to hang on. The facts are on our side, but time is not.”

LIUNA is confident the project will ultimately be approved. Public Utilities Commissioners appointed by Gov. Dayton and Gov. Walz affirmed on three separate occasions that replacing the existing pipeline is the safest and best option for Minnesota. Tens of thousands of pages of expert testimony and evidence have proven that the project will significantly reduce the risk of spills from a badly-deteriorated existing pipeline and congested rail lines, and provide a needed economic boost to Northern Minnesota, all without increasing net carbon emissions.