The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued a news release on Wednesday, July 21 stating that, "based on reports from both independent environmental monitors and Enbridge, there have been inadvertent releases of drilling fluid (or mud) at nine construction sites of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 pipeline project. Willow River is the only river crossing where drilling fluid entered the waterway, all others occurred near the drill entry or exit location."
The MPCA notes that "the release of drilling mud is not uncommon near the drill entry or exit points. The MPCA required that Enbridge include detailed plans on these potential incidents in its permit application and has plans in place to clean up any spills. The MPCA also required Enbridge to install curtains on numerous other river crossings to minimize impacts in the event of any additional in-water releases."
The statement continues, "There is misinformation being shared on social media about potential releases or frac-outs in river crossings, including Shell River. Again, only Willow River has had an inadvertent release into the waterway. Once the MPCA concludes its investigation of these releases, additional information will be publicly available."