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Hearing is Thursday on Sandpiper pipeline

The route for the controversial Sandpiper oil pipeline will be discussed Thursday at a hearing before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The Enbridge pipeline project would transport oil from near Tioga in western North Dakota more than 600 miles to an Enbridge terminal in Superior, Wis. 

The project has been met with some resistance in northern Minnesota by groups such as Honor the Earth and Friends of the Headwaters.

The groups have been among those to propose alternatives to the route preferred by Enbridge. 

The PUC is expected to determine which of the more than 50 alternative routes will continue to be considered.

Those alternatives will be considered Thursday. The Sandpiper portion of the meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with more than 20 speakers signed up for the public comment period. Enbridge also will make its case for its preferred route.

On Tuesday, the Hubbard County Board voted 3-2 to ask Enbridge to route the pipeline around the county, which includes the headwaters of the Mississippi River.