As landowners, we may be on multiple sides of various issues surrounding Line 3. However, one thing we all agree on is that we should have the ultimate say over what happens on and to our land. In June, Enbridge proposed the Landowner Choice Program during the Public Utility Commission hearings. In the coming days, the Public Utility Commission will meet to firm up conditions for the new pipeline’s final permit (the Certificate of Need). Part of this discussion will center around the Landowner Choice Program. Under Enbridge’s proposed Landowner Choice Program:
- Enbridge is given significant influence over your land permits.
- Enbridge receives permission to permanently alter the title of your land.
- Enbridge decides the options for Line 3 on your land.
- Enbridge is giving American landowners 2 options (full removal or no removal), but Enbridge gave Canadian landowners up to 5 options (full removal, partial removal, segmentation, stabilizing pipe left in the ground by filling it with grout, or abandonment in place).
- Enbridge is not allowing American landowners to renegotiate terms regardless of changes in future, but Enbridge provided Canadian landowners the option to renegotiate at any time.
You can download the proposed Landowner Choice Program at www.pipelinecleanupmn.org/resources.
During the hearing process before the Public Utility Commission’s decision, landowners expressed that they believed leaving deactivated pipeline in place is a bad deal for those who host the line on their property. Enbridge has developed its Landowner Choice Program because landowners got organized and made their voices heard.
Minnesotans for Pipeline Cleanup urges you to continue speaking out by writing to local and state newspapers, engaging elected officials, and remaining in touch with your neighbors. We must request that the Landowner Choice Program provide American landowners with the same options Canadian landowners were given. We suggest that landowners create a community response to removal because adjoining land will require coordination between neighbors regarding removal. We encourage you to request a common sense approach to permitting by allowing for permits that are jointly submitted and that landowners to be given the right to review permit applications before they are submitted. Landowners should demand that Enbridge be required to pay for legal services sought by landowners as they review the options presented in the Landowner Choice Program and for independent professional engineering services chosen by the state or a landowner committee to help landowners deal with the permitting process. Lastly, we must ensure that landowners will be able to enforce the terms of the Landowner Choice Program by granting them access to the Public Utility Commission’s complaint process. Minnesotans for Pipeline Cleanup is prepared to assist these efforts. We want to ensure that landowners get the final say over what happens on their land.
-Colleen Bernu, Landowner on Enbridge’s mainline corridor in Cloquet, Minnesota
Minnesotans for Pipeline Cleanup, 218-428-0290