Enbridge’s Line 3 so-called “replacement” involves construction of 337 miles of new 36-inch diameter, underground crude oil pipeline. This is new pipeline through new sections of Minnesota. It does not replace all the old Line 3 pipeline in the Leech Lake area, which has been cracking and corroding since 1962-63. Supposedly, Enbridge cannot fix that pipeline. Maybe Enbridge jobs should focus on the responsibility to fix that problem?
This new pipeline will impact over 700,000 acres of parks, forests and land. It is to cross Clearwater, Hubbard, Wadena, Crow Wing, Cass, Aitkin and Carlton counties, including seven freshwater environments.
See Enbridge’s EIS documents. Enbridge provides horrific descriptions of water quality changes and physical habitat deterioration due to crude oil releases into lakes and waterbodies. Exposed to external oiling, birds and mammals become unable to maintain body temperature, leading to death. Biodegradation can deplete dissolved oxygen concentrations that support fish and aquatic organisms. Would you volunteer to have it run through your backyard and nearby lake?
If you are unsure, search the internet for the 2010 Marshall, Mich. disaster and read about the continuing impacts of an unintended Enbridge spill there. Safety precautions were in place there, too. Cleaning up spills often takes years. Though external entities determined the area has recovered, permanent scars remain. Should we care?
What about recreation, fishing and tourism? What about Minnesota’s 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment? What will be said when oil traverses Minnesota waters? Is Minnesota “God’s country,” as is often publicized? What responsibilities do we have to future generations?
Have we become sedentary watching devastation from oil breaches, remarking, “That’s so sad” and hoping we never live through it? Must we experience disaster to have empathy?
Enbridge identifies the Shell River Crossing as having the greatest probability of failure. Visualize shoreline habitats oiled by floating slicks, tarballs and other oil aggregates. Can you imagine fishing, swimming, tubing or boating in or near an oil breach? Will canoes continue to launch from Twin Lakes landing, riding the Shell River to Huntersville State Forest? What about extensive wild rice beds along the Shell River’s path? Will lakes and wetlands become oiled deserts with dead vegetation and wildlife? What potential devastation do we not understand? What will be our legacy?
Special thanks to those who recognize and CARE what is at stake for future generations!