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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An administrative law judge says pollution regulators properly considered the construction impacts of Enbridge Energy’s plan to replace the 337-mile segment of its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline that crosses Minnesota.

Friday's ruling was a blow to environmental and tribal groups fighting the project. Judge James LaFave issued the opinion following a trial-like “contested case hearing” on draft water permits for the project. The Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency must decide whether to issue final water quality permits by mid-November.

Enbridge has already replaced old segments of Line 3 in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

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