MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The company behind a controversial pipeline has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines for breaking Minnesota environmental laws.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Enbridge Energy pierced an aquifer during the construction of its Line 3 pipeline, causing more than 24 million gallons of groundwater to flow.
MNR said it was a waste of resources and threatened some nearby wetlands and lakes. The state says the violation occurred in January and that Enbridge never informed MNR.
Enbridge was fined $ 3.32 million for this violation. The DNR also sends information to a county prosecutor for criminal prosecution.
Winona LaDuke, an Indigenous leader and executive director of Honor the Earth, issued the following statement:
Enbridge is a dishonest company that caused the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history and has now damaged Minnesota’s most valuable waters during the construction of the oil sands pipeline from Line 3. The Biden administration would only do basic due diligence by finally demanding a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before any oil enters this hastily constructed new pipeline. Minnesota state leaders like Governor Walz and Senators Smith and Klobuchar should mitigate the damage already done to our water – and protect our shared climate – by asking the US Army Corps for a full EIA before more crude oil from tar sands do not sink.
The Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline crosses Minnesota from North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin. It should be operational by the end of the year.
About 2,000 people gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol last month to protest the Line 3 pipeline.
Opposition groups say the Line 3 project is a threat to the environment and encroaches on indigenous lands. On the flip side, Enbridge says the pipeline is safe and creates jobs in northern Minnesota.