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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota regulators have granted a stack of important approvals for Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota.

The decisions set the long-delayed $2.6 billion project on the road toward beginning construction soon. The approvals from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources clear the way for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue the remaining federal permits, though further steps remain after that.

Environmental and tribal groups have been fighting the project for years, but Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge says the replacement pipeline will move oil more safely and create thousands of jobs.

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