Enbridge crews punctured three aquifers during Line 3 oil pipeline construction, DNR says

The damage to groundwater resources was more extensive than previously disclosed


March 22, 2022

Brian Peterson, Star Tribune file

While working near Clearbrook, Minn., Enbridge dug too deeply into the ground and pierced an artesian aquifer. This image is from the site on Sept. 28, 2021.

Damage to Minnesota's public groundwater resources from construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline is more severe than previously known, state environmental regulators disclosed Monday.

Enbridge Energy crews ruptured three groundwater aquifers while building the 340-mile Line 3 replacement pipeline across northern Minnesota last year and the Canadian oil company faces expanded sanctions, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

"The DNR continues to work on a comprehensive enforcement resolution, with the goal of addressing restoration, mitigation and additional penalties associated with the three breach locations," the agency said in a statement Monday announcing the completion of its investigation into the aquifer breaches.



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