About half of a proposed 612-mile pipeline would run through northern Minnesota, carrying oil from North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin.
Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission has scheduled five hearings this week, beginning Monday at St. Paul's RiverCentre. Hearings are also scheduled this week in Duluth, Bemidji, Crookston and St. Cloud.
Environmentalists are concerned about potential risks that the Enbridge Energy Sandpiper pipeline might have on lakes and rivers. They are pushing for a different route to avoid sensitive wetlands.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources have asked regulators to consider routes that would skirt northern Minnesota's lakes region.