The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously Tuesday to quash all remaining petitions against Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline and grant it final approval, setting the company up to complete final regulatory steps for the controversial project by the end of 2019.
Earlier this month, Enbridge announced a one-year construction delay after newly-elected Minnesota Governor Tim Walz pledged to appeal the project’s regulatory approval. The PUC had backed Line 3 last summer, prompting opponents to vow that the project would become the United States’ “next Standing Rock”.
The state Commerce Department “had joined with tribal and environmental groups in challenging the project’s approvals before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which sent the case back to the commission last month,” CBC reports. Walz “says his administration will study Tuesday’s decision before deciding next steps.” “Enbridge now expects the Minnesota permitting process to be complete in November, with federal permits received in the 60 days following that,” Bloomberg states. “The delay of the C$9-billion Line 3 expansion, which would add 370,000 barrels of daily shipping capacity, was the latest in a string of canceled or stalled projects.”