A photo essay
In 2021, Enbridge Line 3 construction workers breached an aquifer in St. Louis County, just 400 feet west of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation.
Enbridge hadn’t done — nor did the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) require — any analysis of the area’s hydrology.
This was one of at least three such aquifer breaches created by Line 3 construction, a violation of Enbridge’s permit and state law.
The St. Louis County breach:
- Took nearly seven months to repair. (The breach occurred Sept. 10, 2021 and the repair was reported complete on April 7.)
- Released more than 263 million gallons of groundwater.
- Required 24/7 grouting activities (think cement) to repair, starting March 8 and finishing April 5 (with two pauses to check for effectiveness).
- Required more than 20,000 cubic feet of grout to fix, according to Enbridge’s final report on the repair. (That’s enough grout to build a wall two-feet thick, 20-feet tall, and 500-feet long.)