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Enbridge will give Minnesota landowners more time to decide fate of old pipeline

DULUTH—Enbridge Energy is giving landowners more time to decide if they want the old Line 3 oil pipeline removed from their property after regulators approved a replacement for the aging pipeline last month.

The Calgary-based company filed proposals to comply with conditions set on the certificate of need and route permit set by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which approved the approximately 340-mile pipeline that will stretch across northern Minnesota to connect Alberta with Superior, Wis.

Most notably, Enbridge explained that it will give landowners five years to make a decision on whether they want the old Line 3 removed. The company also said it would communicate a landowner's options better to all parties.

Commissioners spent considerable time in last month's hearings mulling over how Enbridge should be responsible for old pipe and criticized the company for offering a narrow timeframe for landowners to request its removal.

When Enbridge first released its pipeline removal plan in early June, company officials said if the new Line 3 route is approved and built, they would have 90 days after the new line is put into service to purge oil from the old route and, if landowners request, another year to remove the old pipeline from their property. Before that, the company had planned on leaving the pipeline in the ground after it went out of service and was cleaned.

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