On June 3rd, Water Protectors, supported by the Ginew Collective, Northfield Against Line 3 and other groups, halted work at an active construction site on the proposed Line 3 route near Park Rapids, Minn. Three Water Protectors locked themselves to logging equipment while over a dozen concerned citizens rallied in support.
Great River Energy, Enbridge’s named utility provider for numerous pump stations it needs to power its tar sands pipeline, is logging through water crossings and wetlands next to the Line 3 route.
Enbridge has significant unmet energy needs to power the Line 3 route, and notes its partnership with Great River Energy in its application to the Army Corps of Engineers to bulldoze through wetlands and water crossings. Great River Energy specifies in its Army Corps application that it is building the electric transmission line to power Enbridge’s pipeline unbuilt pump station.
Minnesota has not issued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or DNR permits required for Line 3 construction across wetlands or water crossings. Minnesota announced the 401 water quality certification process will not be complete until fall 2019.
“Enbridge pretends to follow the process while it is busy bulldozing through our forests and wetlands,” said Frances Weatherall, who is one of the Water Protectors locked to logging equipment.
“This is a years-long plan to send more dirty tar sands through Minnesota, don’t be fooled into thinking they won’t destroy as much as they can while they wait for their final state permits,” said Mollie Weatherall, who is locked with her sister on the same machine.
Another Water Protector who was also locked to a machine said, “This is a step towards decolonization, Enbridge is carving up the planet and our government doesn’t care. Today it’s my turn to put my body between the planet I want to protect and the attacks against our water, our climate, and Native sovereignty.”