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Enbridge says Line 3 pipeline replacement complete, plans to open Friday

The project was completed despite opposition from local tribes and environmentalists. The company has maintained that the new line is vital to their operations.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The attached video originally aired on May 28, 2021

Enbridge says the upgrade and expansion of its Line 3 pipeline across Minnesota is complete and will become operational on Friday. 

The Canadian-based company's President and CEO Al Monaco said in a statement Wednesday that the pipeline "will soon deliver the low-cost and reliable energy that people depend on every day." 

The project was completed despite stiff opposition from local tribes, environmentalists and others, saying that the 337-mile pipeline violated treaty rights, would worsen climate change and would risk spills. 

Opponents have staged multiple protests both at the Minnesota State Capitol and at sites in northern Minnesota over the past several months. There have been dozens of arrest of local "water protectors" and those traveling from out of state to make their objections heard. 

Noted environmental activist and Honor The Earth executive director Winona LaDuke released a statement calling the pipeline "a crime against the environment and Indigenous rights, waters and lands." 

“Enbridge has raced to build this line before the Federal court has passed judgment on our appeals about the line, but the people have," LaDuke said. "We believe the most expensive tar sands oil pipeline ever built in the U.S. will be the last."

RELATED: Nearly 2 dozen arrested in Line 3 pipeline protest

Enbridge said it was necessary to replace and expand a deteriorating pipeline built in the 1960s. The line starts in Alberta, Canada, before crossing North Dakota and Minnesota en route to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

RELATED: Minnesota Supreme Court delivers blow to Line 3 opponents

RELATED: Regulators approve environmental review for Line 3 pipeline

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