ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota 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 the state, an administrative law judge ruled Friday in a blow to environmental and tribal groups fighting the project.

Judge James LaFave issued the opinion following a request by opponents for a trial-like "contested case hearing" on the draft water permits for the project, which the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved in February. He held that proceeding over the summer.

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