DNR completes investigation of three aquifer breaches during Line 3 construction

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it has completed the investigation of three aquifer breaches during the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project.

The two additional aquifer breaches were in the LaSalle Creek area of Hubbard County as well as an area near the Fond du Lac Reservation in St. Louis County.

Enbridge already agreed to pay more than $3 million in fines for a breach near the Clearbrook terminal last fall.

The investigation of the breach at LaSalle Creek indicated that the breach happened when crews were installing sheet piling through the river valley’s eastern slope.

Enbridge reported about 9.8 million gallons were discharged in this breach, with the uncontrolled flow stopped in December.

The St. Louis County breach was identified last September after crews removed sheet piling after the construction of the pipeline.

This breach is considered high-pressure and in a geographically complex area, which may have detrimental impacts on the wild rice water for the Fond du Lac Reservation.

To date, more than 219 million gallons have been released by this breach.

Enbridge said this breach has slowed from 330 gallons released per minute to six gallons a minute.

No enforcement action for these latest breaches has yet been announced.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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