MPCA issues statement on drilling fluid releases

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says there is misinformation spreading about drilling fluid releases at Enbridge construction sites.

According to a social media announcement, there have been inadvertent releases of drilling fluid, described as mud, at nine different Line 3 sites.

The drilling fluid is for the horizontal directional drill used to install pipe under waterways.

The MPCA says the mud was only released into the water at the Willow River crossing, not at the Mississippi Headwaters.

The Sierra Club, one of several groups opposed to Line 3, alleges the drilling fluids are a trade secret and that the MPCA’s claims of it being safe and nontoxic are not verifiable, and that a spill took place in a swamp near the Headwaters.

The MPCA says Enbridge is required to have detailed plans to address these potential releases of drilling fluid, for both cleanup and containment, in the permitting process.


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.


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