What exactly happened to the aquifer in Clearbrook during Line 3 construction, and what is being done to address it?
Construction along the Line 3 Replacement route began in December 2020, and became operational in October of 2021. The project successfully replaced an aging Line 3 that was built in the 1960s with state-of-the-art, new, safer technology that will ensure oil is transported in the safest way possible across Minnesota.
While careful attention was given to ensure that the project was completed safely, with minimal impact to the environment, there was an event in which an aquifer was impacted and water was able to flow to the surface to another part of the site. Enbridge is currently working with the DNR to remedy the issue.
Opponents of Line 3 have exaggerated this event to make it sound worse than it is. Here’s what pipeline opponents probably don’t tell you:
- This was not intentionally or carelessly done, but may have been due to sheet piling used to stabilize and create safe conditions inside the trench for workers during construction.
- The issue was identified by Enbridge in June, at the same time Independent Environmental Monitors and the DNR learned of it – there has been no delay in reporting or moving forward with repair.
- Enbridge began working with the DNR on a solution from the outset, and once a DNR-approved remedial action plan was approved, Enbridge immediately began implementing it and coordinating closely with the DNR to repair the damage and permanently stop the flow of water.
- Throughout construction, Enbridge has successfully protected 200+ water bodies, 800+ wetlands, and 50-100 other sensitive areas crossed by the project.
- The Line 3 Replacement Project is complete and the new Line 93 is operating safely.
- Enbridge has paid a penalty and mitigation amounts under DNR orders, and has placed $2,750,000 in escrow for any potential future restoration.
- Enbridge is committed to active and ongoing restoration and monitoring, and will not stop until this has been fully addressed.
Learn more and read Enbridge’s full statement and frequently asked questions about here.