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Regulators plan community meetings in August about pipeline replacement in northern Minnesota

State regulators said Monday that a series of public meetings will be held next month in 11 northern Minnesota communities along a proposed $2.1 billion, 337-mile crude oil pipeline intended to replace an older line through the region.

The public meetings about Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 replacement project will begin Aug. 11 in Hallock and Newfolden, Minn., and continue until Aug. 26 in Carlton, Minn.

The Minnesota segment is part of a $7.5 billion project by the Calgary-based company to build a new 36-inch diameter line from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wis., where Enbridge has a terminal and connections to pipelines serving the Midwest, Gulf Coast and eastern Canada.

Related: Minnesota PUC approves Enbridge’s Sandpiper pipeline but didn’t settle its route

After crossing the international border, the line would go to Clearbrook, Minn., site of two oil terminals, then turn southeast toward Park Rapids and finally east to Superior along the same route Enbridge intends to use for its new Sandpiper pipeline from North Dakota.

Enbridge is required to obtain a route permit and certificate of need from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The public meetings are an early step in the state review, an opportunity for people to share their views on environmental issues that should be studied, suggest ways to address those issues and propose alternatives, including revisions in the proposed route.

Enbridge’s Web page about the project can be reached via strib.mn/Enb-Line3. Go to the state Commerce Department’s Line 3 website via strib.mn/DOC-Line3, where ways to file written comments can be found.

This article was written by DAVID SHAFFER from Star Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.