DNR lacks transparency in holding Enbridge accountable for Line 3’s environmental damage

To those Wisconsin and Michigan residents worried about construction of the Enbridge Line 5 tar sands pipeline: Beware the aquifer breaches and monitor any dewatering permit. Let your state regulators know about the company’s track record and that you expect a stronger state response than what happened in Minnesota.

Here, Enbridge violated state permits where Line 3 construction crews broke through aquifers in three places. In all, these breaches released at least 285 million gallons of groundwater.

We’re only now learning the extent of the damage that occurred last fall. Until this week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has withheld even basic information on two of the three breaches, such as their locations and extent of groundwater loss.

It’s only the latest example of how Minnesota’s regulatory system is set up to help large corporations like Enbridge rather than serve the public interest.

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State and federal regulators continue to treat Enbridge with kid gloves, and other Line 3 news

In this blog:

  • With Line 3’s water damages still unaddressed, a growing call on state, federal authorities to hold Enbridge accountable
  • Support Ron Turney, Indigenous activist documenting ongoing environmental harm along Line 3
  • Truthout: Water Protectors fight trumped-up felony charges
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Line 3: Martineau declines award; Enbridge Line 5 mediation ends; U.N. committee presses U.S. on human rights abuses of the Anishinaabe

In this blog:

  • Taysha Martineau declines award, rejecting corporate climate hypocrisy
  • Mediation talks on Enbridge Line 5 in Michigan end with no agreement
  • U.N. Committee seeks U.S. response to allegations of human rights abuses of Anishinaabe people resisting Enbridge Line 3
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As Enbridge races to finish Line 3 construction, more suspected frac-outs

Water Protector Shanai Matteson points to the Willow River frac-out. Screengrab from Honor the Earth video.

On July 6, water protectors found an Enbridge Line 3 frac-out at the Willow River.

On Monday, Honor the Earth reported a suspected Line 3 frac-out at the Shell River. [Update July 22: The MPCA says there was no frac-out on the shell. It did report that Enbridge has had frac-outs at nine different construction sites. Updated blog coming soon.]

Today, the Indigenous Environmental Network reported a suspected Line 3 frac-out near the Mississippi headwaters. (Video here.)

Details of the frac-outs are still coming in.

It’s possible to see frac-outs on the surface of rivers and wetlands. There could be other frac-outs below the surface that remain unseen.

How many frac-outs will it take for state regulators to require something different, or do they dismiss frac-outs as an acceptable environmental cost?

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Indigenous leaders calling on allies to come north and stand with them against Line 3

[CORRECTION: This blog was updated to indicate that Line 3 construction could be completed in three weeks, based on Enbridge’s reported data. Enbridge itself didn’t make that claim.]

Based on Enbridge’s progress reports to the state, if it’s able to maintain its current construction pace, all Line 3 pipe will be in the trenches and buried in approximately two to three weeks. Enbridge has made public statements that it expects to start running the pipeline by the fourth quarter of the year.

Front line camps (resistance camps, prayer camps, treaty camps) are asking for people to come north and stand in solidarity.

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Line 3 updates: More arrests and protests, and the need to support front-line, Indigenous-led resistance

In this blog:

  • 14 more arrests in Line 3 resistance, total now 40
  • Peaceful protest Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Superior, Wisc.
  • More ways to support Line 3 front line resistance
  • Upcoming Line 3 trainings: Watch the Line, Engaged Buddhism, TakeAction MN
  • After nearly a century, University of Minnesota plans to return Indian artifacts
  • Standing Rock devastated by COVID-19
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Line 3 opposition, law enforcement response, ramp up

Et tu, DNR? Conservation officers now part of the state’s protest push back

Seventeen water protectors were arrested today in Aitkin County and were being held in jail overnight.

They were arrested at the site where Enbridge plans to bore under the Mississippi River for its new and larger Line 3 tars sands pipeline. Also, a nearby 10-day tree sit ended today when police brought in a crane.

Tree sitter before the police brought in a crane.
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Governor envy

Michigan’s Whitmer nixes crude oil pipeline under the Great Lakes while Minnesota’s Walz administration greenlights crude oil pipeline that threatens state lakes and streams

It’s a tale of two states, Michigan and Minnesota.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the state was revoking and terminating Enbridge’s easement to operate crude oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.

They cited Enbridge’s bad-faith efforts to protect the environment and Enbridge Line 5’s threat to the Great Lakes.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota DNR announced this week they would allow Enbridge to build a crude oil pipeline trenching through 355 miles of northern Minnesota, threatening climate, clean waters and treaty rights.

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