Enbridge Energy Partners LP struck an agreement with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa allowing the partnership to proceed with construction of the Line 3 replacement project through the band's reservation lands.
Under the agreement, the Enbridge Inc. subsidiary may build the replacement line along the existing corridor through the Fond du Lac Band's reservation with conditions, including compliance with band, federal and state laws; compensation to the band for costs related to having the pipeline run through the reservation; protection of wild rice waters and other natural resources; and job opportunities for band members, according to an Aug. 31 news release.
The right-of-way through the reservation is scheduled to expire in 2029, with a 10-year extension following the expiration, after which the band may reassess matters to consider changing times and needs.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in June granted a permit to Enbridge for the replacement project, with the commission saying they would approve an alternate route avoiding the reservation unless Enbridge reached an agreement with the band to build the line through the reservation.
The C$8.2 billion Line 3 overhaul would replace an existing 1960s-vintage oil pipeline and restore its original capacity of 720,000 barrels per day, which is double its current operating limit. It is scheduled to begin service in late 2019. The Fond du Lac band is among the six member bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and consists of over 4,200 members.