Two additional aquifer breaches under investigation, Enbridge misses deadline to stop unauthorized flow near Clearbrook terminal

Enbridge missed the deadline to stop groundwater flows from an aquifer breached during the construction of Line 3.

The Minnesota DNR announced the violations relating to the breach near the Clearbrook terminal last month and ordered Enbridge to pay a $3.32 million fine.

The DNR also ordered Enbridge to stop the unauthorized groundwater flow within 30 days.

The DNR says Enbridge has made progress but the company notified the DNR that the work wouldn’t be complete in time.

Enbridge will also pay an additional $40,000 to compensate the state for the loss of groundwater resources.

The company also agreed to pay for additional future losses of groundwater and will forgo the appeal of the restorative order issued last month.

The breach, according to the DNR, happened when pipeline crews deviated from the approved construction plans and dug trenches that were too deep, penetrating the aquifer which may cause damage to a sensitive wetland.

The DNR is also investigating two additional sites of uncontrolled flow due to breaches of the confining layers of the artesian aquifers.

These two breaches in undisclosed locations remain under investigation.

Construction was recently completed on Enbridge’s 337-mile stretch across northern Minnesota, with the company announcing operation on Oct. 1.


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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