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Crude oil pumping station

Wisconsin has permitted a 14-mile replacement pipeline for Enbridge in Douglas County. Above, the company's pump station in Dane County helps move tar sands crude across the state.

The state Department of Natural Resources is permitting the Enbridge oil pipeline company to replace a 14-mile segment of pipe that crosses wetlands and waterways in Douglas County, but it isn't acting now on a new and less certain line, the agency announced Tuesday.

Approval of Line 3 allows Enbridge to replace a 34-inch pipe with a 36-inch line that can carry 760,000 barrels daily from Alberta, Canada, to its terminal in Superior.

Enbridge has also proposed a new 30-inch crude oil line, but the so-called "Sandpiper" line may not be built if Minnesota doesn't give approval for its section. Enbridge recently said it hopes to invest in a different route. The DNR completed an environmental impact statement on both proposals.

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Steven Verburg is a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal covering state politics with a focus on science and the environment as well as military and veterans issues.