MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The company behind a controversial pipeline has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines for breaking Minnesota’s environmental laws.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Enbridge Energy breached an aquifer during construction of its Line 3 pipeline, causing more than 24 million gallons of groundwater to flow out of it.
The DNR said that’s a waste of resources, and threatens some nearby wetlands and lakes. The state says the breach happened in January, and Enbridge never notified the DNR.
Enbridge has been fined $3.32 million for the breach. The DNR is also sending information to a county attorney for criminal prosecution.
Winona LaDuke, an indigenous leader and executive director of Honor the Earth, released the following statement:
Enbridge is a rogue corporation that caused the largest inland oil spill in US history and has now damaged Minnesota’s most precious waters during construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. The Biden Administration would only be doing its basic due diligence by finally requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before any oil goes in this hurriedly-constructed new pipeline. Minnesota’s statewide 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 U.S. Army Corps for a full EIS before more tar sands crude oil flows.
The Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline cuts across Minnesota from North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin. It’s expected to be up and running 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 intrudes on indigenous land. On the other hand, Enbridge says that the pipeline is safe and is bringing jobs to northern Minnesota.
More On WCCO.com: