When I read the July 15 Enterprise Editorial, I had no problem with the chronicling of events of the Enbridge Line 3 proposed project until I came to an opinion concerning the probability of an oil spill. The editorial stated, "It could happen but the overwhelming percentage is it will never happen." This statement misleads the public. Pipeline spills happen all the time and Minnesota suffers its fair share of spills.
August 1979, west of Bemidji: 449,000 gallons oil spilled, a quarter of the oil oozed through sandy soil into a wetland and water table. It has never been cleaned up entirely and is the subject of an ongoing study to see how petroleum products break down naturally.
March 1991, near Grand Rapids: A state record 1.7 million gallons spilled when Enbridge employees misinterpreted alarms and did not respond immediately. A similar mistake happened almost two decades later in 2010, at Marshall, Mich., when almost a million gallons of tar sands spilled into the Kalamazoo River. The river was shut down for two years and the river still isn't completely cleaned up.
July, 2002, near Cohasset: 252,000 gallons of crude oil spilled when the pipeline ruptured as a result of pipeline fatigue developed while shipping the pipe. It took a controlled burn sending black smoke over a mile high to dispose of some of the oil.
Just because it will be new pipe does not guarantee it will not fail. The Keystone 1, built in 2010, leaked nearly 17,000 gallons of crude oil in 2016 near Freeman, S.D. It spurted out benzene-laced tar sands over a football field-sized piece of land.
When Enbridge is approached about revealing the source of their steel, they are evasive in response, suggesting they may be using cheap foreign steel rather than U.S.-produced steel.
The Enbridge preferred route crosses the Mississippi River, Hay Creek and Straight River. Any of the spills listed above would be devastating to our area. A spill into Hay Creek would impact Island Lake, Eagle Lake, Potato Lake, Fish Hook Lake and the Fish Hook River.
The Enbridge prefered route is a huge risk to take considering that Line 3 oil does not directly benefit Minnesota as the crude oil is directed to refineries east of Minnesota. There has to be a better place to place Line 3.