This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Early this morning, “dozens of water protectors standing in solidarity with Indigenous-led resistance shut down work at a Line 3 construction site by locking themselves to equipment and building several blockades on access roads,” according to a media release from Honor the Earth and Resist Line 3. “Two people surrounded by flowers locked themselves inside of a vehicle, while two others locked to drilling equipment inside the site.”
Willow River is one of 21 sites where Enbridge is boring a tunnel underneath the river, using a technique called Horizontal Directional Drilling, or HDD. It requires the use of drilling mud to keep the tunnel open.
Those on the ground are concerned that the HDD might have resulted in a “frac out” where the drilling mud escapes the tunnel through cracks in the soil and reaches the surface, in this case Willow River. See this video of water protector Shanai Matteson explaining what’s being seen on the ground and concerns about the drilling mud in the Willow River.
The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety has already contacted Enbridge about the incident, sources say.Continue reading