It’s been another whirlwind of a week in Enbridgeland.
As most find themselves accepting a future Enbridge wishes – and promotes daily on the radio still… and with large ads in the paper too? [I wouldn’t know as we don’t get a paper. Perhaps for the best to not have to see Enbridge lies…] Their favorite, in these end days, is the one about how well Enbridge works with the Tribes. [FFS. They’ve done all they can to DIVIDE Tribes!]
This weekend, we discovered a new tagline – financed by Enbridge I’m guessing, based on the large billboards and signs being for the companies who have long supported the Line 3 project …for what recompense, I know not, though perhaps some foolishly support them without compensation? These new signs are perhaps the scariest yet… so I’ll save them for the end of the blog.
Yet regardless of all their advertising, Enbridge could not be in a much bigger mess at this point in the game.
As we saw with Dakota Access Pipeline on their final river crossing, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe brought out tremendous support AGAINST a pipeline running through [not the white neighborhoods of Bismark… but] the Native lands of the Sioux People. All along the Line 3 process in Minnesota, we’ve seen the strong and vocal opposition, based in science and standing on the treaty rights of the Anishinaabeg.
Yet these citizens were stymied again and again by state agencies in apparent collusion with Enbridge as commissioners were nearly completely unwilling to meet with citizens or scientists, state representatives literally campaigned for the oil transport company to be paid millions of dollars in back taxes, and even the MN Court of Appeals seemed to find that, even though there was no demand forecast provided… deferring to the Public Utilities Commission was A-OK anyway!
Nevertheless, Enbridge is finding its project also falling apart at their last crossing… of the Clearwater River, no less. Ironic, no? As they are trying to wrap up construction, there is evidence of a frac-out once again.
We saw on July 20th the public outrage grow as Enbridge experienced mulitple frac-outs as they drilled under the Mississippi Headwaters in Clearwater County. These failures followed unreported frac-outs at the Willow River after the company had already drilled under the Mississippi’s second crossing (near Palisade – outside the allowable construction period no less, which restricted work from 4/1-6/30 each year – though a reported frac-out of 6000-9000 gallons of drilling mud occurred on… June 25, 2021) of Enbridge’s preferred route for their new pipeline, now named Line 93 as the official line markers are installed along the new corridor. It took public monitors and Senators and Representatives writing to the MPCA to FINALLY hear from the agency of the more than two dozen frac-outs that had already happened!!
To this DAY, STILL the Mississippi Headwaters continues to show evidence of frac-out drilling mud seeping up through the wetlands and rising to the water surfaces, and into Misi-ziibi. All coming downstream to a drinking water source near you?
That was just the beginning of their HDD (Horizontally Directional Drilled) water crossings and their luck has continued to be poor as we now see the frac-outs at the Clearwater River, as well as the larger problem of Enbridge’s VIOLATION of their Construction Permit which resulted in their BREACH OF AN AQUIFER in Clearbrook – WAY BACK IN JANUARY… which the DNR claims to not have known about until June 15, 2021, and for which the public was not informed until just this month. This aquifer CONTINUES to leak as Enbridge finds no way to remedy their rupture. NINE MONTHS LATER… [FFS, I could make an entire HUMAN in that time!]
Keep in mind that June 15th was just ELEVEN (11) DAYS after the DNR approved an almost 10-fold increase in dewatering allowance for Enbridge. DID NO ONE CONNECT THE FUCKING DOTS ON THIS SHIT??? FFS How thoughtless ARE the DNR agency representatives???
Separately, the DNR has also referred this matter to the Clearwater County Attorney for criminal prosecution. The DNR has determined that Enbridge Energy violated Minnesota Statute 103G.141, subdivision 1, which makes it a crime to appropriate “waters of the state without previously obtaining a permit from the commissioner.”
The criminal referral and civil enforcement orders resulted from an investigation of Line 3 construction activities near Enbridge’s Clearbrook Terminal. Should the company violate the DNR’s restoration order, it would be subject to additional misdemeanor charges under state law.”DNR Announcement of Orders Against Enbridge
On Saturday, we discovered a large Enbridge holding tank farm in SE Bagley, just between the golf course and the nursing home facility in a small cul-de-sac neighborhood of quiet homes. On discovery, I wasn’t sure what this holding tank facility was all about, though on review of the footage at home that evening, I determined these were likely settling tanks for the large amounts of water Enbridge was removing from our landscape as they try to finish their work.
What are the contents of these tanks?
It seems two things, based on aerial and on the ground footage… and NO INPUT FROM THE DNR OR MPCA to Citizens of the dangers entailed.
First, they appear to be tanks for the frac-out contaminated waters vaccuumed from their HDD locations to be placed for settling – as their designed dewatering systems were FAR TOO INSUBSTANTIAL to accommodate the LARGE QUANTITIES OF FRAC-OUT CONTAMINATED WATER.
Enbridge dumps water in here and hope the bales filter out any sediments as the liquid – water with any contaminants from the trench – flows back into the environment. Or so I hear… never saw one in use here in Clearwater County.
Second, with the aquifer breach near Enbridge’s Clearbrook Terminal, it seems clear there could also be water coming from that location as well. AND at least one truck leaving this job site was marked not as “Non-Potable Water” but with HazMat Code 1993 – FLAMMABLE LIQUID.
We saw multiple trucks leaving an area on Fairgrounds Road directly east of the Bagley dump. Not only did we see dump trucks (one that dumped its load in the dump) and “Non-Potable Water” trucks, but also another with HazMat Code 1993 – FLAMMABLE LIQUID, following that one directly to the tank farm facility SE of Bagley.
SOOOO….How did this Breach of the Aquifer happen?
It seems Enbridge decided to willfully violate the Construction Permit for their “Line 3 Replacement” project… which we all know now is a relocation and expansion project as their easement was clearly was cut for more than a single pipeline installation.
The Administrative Penalty Order issued to Enbridge found Enbridge far exceeded plans presented to the state of Minnesota for only an 8′ deep trench in the area:
Beginning on about January 21, 2021, and continuing through the date of this APO, Enbridge has violated Minn. Stat. § 103G.223 by causing reductions in groundwater resources available to the Leon 33 calcareous fen (Steenerson and Deep Lake Fens) (calcareous fens) without an approved calcareous fen management plan. In 2020, Enbridge informed DNR, in its request for a no effect concurrence, that its construction activities were unlikely to negatively impact the nearby calcareous fens because Enbridge intended to excavate about an eight foot deep trench. Instead, when Enbridge constructed the pipeline at or near the Clearbrook Terminal, Enbridge excavated an eighteen foot deep trench and installed sheet piling to a depth of 28 feet. Because Enbridge deviated from its plans, Enbridge breached an artesian aquifer, causing uncontrolled flow of groundwater. The uncontrolled flow affects the same aquifer that upwells into the Leon 33 calcareous fen (Steenerson and Deep Lake Fens) and is located approximately 4,800 feet northwest of the calcareous fens. Enbridge failed to submit a calcareous fen management plan for DNR approval prior conducting an activity that may drain, or otherwise degrade, wholly or partially, a calcareous fen.”DNR Administrative Penalty Order dated 9/16/2021
This situation is also noted in the Restoration and Replacement Order:
In an email to Randall Doneen dated July 7, 2021, Kristen Lenz of Merjent, Enbridge’s consultant, stated that as of March 19, 2021, the quantity of water pumped was estimated at 3.8 million gallons. Enbridge had not taken any flow or volume measurements since March 18. Attachments to the email showed that the depth of the bore pit was 18 feet deep by 45 feet long by 12 feet wide. The sheet piling was 30 feet long with 28 feet installed into the ground. This email contained maps, boring logs and other information about the area.”DNR 9/16/21 RESTORATION AND REPLACEMENT ORDER Finding of Fact #15
That many still support Enbridge is a sign of a poor media capacity to shine the light on the egregious way Enbridge is already damaging our state, including for the last nine months, by bleeding water from our landscape – itself experiencing severe drought – as the pipeline company begged the DNR for a HUGE increase in their use of water from the state, all while not revealing their company’s BREACH of an Aquifer because they FAILED to CONFORM to their Construction Permit Requirements!!!
The media has failed – always seeming to drink the Enbridge kool-aid… perhaps because of all those big ads… that generated much-needed revenues during a pandemic? From scarcely reporting on the death and near-death of two Enbridge employees early on in the project work… to barely noting the inclusion of Enbridge pipeliners involved in sex crimes across the north… to not reporting on the police brutality by DNR Officers, State Troopers, and local law enforcement – with much exception here in Clearwater County where we’ve seen Sheriff Halverson honestly, fairly, and transparently enforcing the law. And while they are not covering those very serious and traumatic events, we watch them give the same short shrift to explaining to the public how the state agencies and local citizens have been duped by Enbridge money and propaganda. The media seem just another paid promoter for Enbridge.
Which brings me back to those scary new banners.
For those who cannot easily name their product, they choose another word in their star-spangled banner ads:
I’m hoping this time, the public sees the already atrocious concerns being raised simply by Enbridge’s CONSTRUCTION process, and that they will certainly be rising to assure Minnesota is protected from this foreign corporation destroying even MORE of Minnesota than we’ve seen to date.
We surely have seen that no one in the State Agencies are coming to our rescue.
Bad news: PUC apparently giving Enbridge the Green Light… even though there is SO MUCH MESS STILL REMAINING! Exposed and incomplete wiring not done at many crossings along the RA-05 portion of the route – even at the Clearbrook Terminal.
Note the VERY WIDE CORRIDOR which Enbridge seemingly hopes to be able to move all their pipelines into – as their easements for their pipelines thru Leech Lake Reservation end in 2029. Wishing more had understood the critical reasons we have worked so hard to #StopLine3.
To Worse: Inewz.TV reports Enbridge plans to flow tar sands by Friday.
Update: 10/18/21 – And STILL the Enbridge Aquifer Breach at their Clearbrook Terminal… remains unresolved.