The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a network of 70 nonprofits, held a digital meeting Thursday to discuss recent issues with Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Minnesota Environmental Partnership criticized state agencies Thursday, Sept. 23, in a Zoom call regarding action taken on the Line 3 replacement project.
The event was in response to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources revealing information about an artesian aquifer being breached in January near Clearbrook. The breach occurred while work was being done on the new Line 3 oil pipeline, just about a month after construction started.
Artesian aquifers are confined aquifers underground containing water. The water is surrounded by rock or clay, which applies pressure to the water contained within the aquifer.
According to Jeffrey Broberg, a licensed Minnesota geologist on the Zoom call, the specific aquifer forms springs in the Lost River headwaters. The Lost River acts as a tributary for the Clearwater River. As a result of the breach, 24.2 million gallons of water have been lost and the aquifer started losing its natural flow into nearby springs.
In response to the breach, the DNR fined Enbridge, the owner of Line 3, $3.32 million and referred the matter to the Clearwater County Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution. DNR claims Enbridge deviated from its construction plan submitted to the agency near its Clearbrook terminal.
Those plans had stated...
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