Monday, May 07, 2018

Counties, authorities prep for pipeline protests

The prospect of protests in Minnesota along the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction corridor is forcing officials to consider ways to pay for law enforcement responses and other associated costs. "It's clearly on our minds," St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman said. "If the resources required go beyond the expense associated, it's a legitimate concern." In a letter last week to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, and copied to Gov. Mark Dayton and other lawmakers, the Association of Minnesota Counties called the expenses "out of ordinary." "It is likely that there will be a need for services and support that go beyond ... typical functions," the letter said. The Public Utilities Commission is weighing whether to permit Line 3 reconstruction. The pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the Superior refinery is already approved in Canada and Wisconsin, where construction is underway in both places. Executive director Julie Ring, of the Association of Minnesota Counties, told the News Tribune on Friday that initial reports of the letter asking for Enbridge to reimburse counties was misinterpreted by other media outlets. The letter only asks state officials and lawmakers to consider a process for reimbursement of costs associated with keeping order at pipeline protests. The idea that Enbridge would reimburse counties creates the illusion of law enforcement working for the company — a notion all sources for this story say they want to avoid...MORE

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