Near fatal Line 3 accident seems to have been avoidable

Regulators shouldn’t have allowed a pipeline in this area

On Saturday, Feb. 6, a piece of heavy excavating equipment used for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline corridor broke through the ice in Hubbard County. The operator was trapped in freezing cold water which nearly filled his enclosed cab. He was unable to exit and became hypthermic. A dramatic rescue followed, including the destruction of a beaver dam to drop the water level. The operator survived.

The incident occurred near a wetland by LaSalle Creek in an area known as the LaSalle Valley, located between Itasca State Park and the Mississippi Headwaters.

This problem was foreseeable.

Digging deeper into the story raises questions about whether state regulators were paying enough attention when they approved Line 3’s route through the valley.

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