St. Paul, Minn. (June 10, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans joins its thousands of members who strongly condemn the dangerous and unacceptable actions taken this week by Line 3 protestors in the vandalism and destruction of equipment and environmental protections at an Enbridge pump station. We value the safety of surrounding communities, workers and the lands and environment impacted by these actions, and urge lawmakers and enforcers not to allow criminal acts like these to continue.
The Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project went through a thorough and rigorous 6-year review and all permits have been obtained and upheld through the process outline by law. While we deeply respect the right to peacefully protest, the project’s workforce should be able to do their job in a safe environment, without worries of the impacts of drastic measures taken by those who choose not to pursue lawful means in making their concerns heard.
ENBRIDGE STATEMENT: PROTESTORS DESTROY ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS AND DAMAGE CONTRACTOR EQUIPMENT
Damage to the Two Inlet Pump Station includes extensive vandalism of contractor equipmnent, construction trailers broken into, and the destruction of environmental safeguards intended to control erosion and protect water quality. While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest, that is not what happened on Monday at the Two Inlets Pump Station. Protesters attempted to trap workers while forcefully entering and then occupying the site, tresspassing and criminally damaging property. This is unacceptable, and we will seek the full prosecution of all involved.
Safety is our first priority, and to that end workers evacuated from the site, including employees of Native-owned contractor Gordon Construction from the White Earth Reservation. Over 500 native workers are part of the Line 3 workforce. The project is already providing significant economic benefits for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members – including creating 5,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.
This project is about safety and we remain fully committed to its timely completion. The protest affected work at just this site, and construction continued yesterday and today across dozens of worksites in the five construction zones that stretch across northern Minnesota. To date, protests have had little impact on the project’s construction schedule which is on track to be completed and in service in the fourth quarter of this year. Enbridge operations were unaffected.
Many of the groups involved in the Treaty People Gathering were parties to the regulatory and permitting process, and during the past six years have repeatedly provided input that was heard and acted upon. We hoped all parties would come to accept the outcome of the thorough, science-based review and multiple approvals of the project, which included 70 public comment meetings, appellate review and reaffirmation of a 13,500-page EIS, four separate reviews by administrative law judges, 320 route modifications in response to stakeholder input, and reviews and approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (The only Tribe with “Treatment as a State” water quality authority along the pipeline route). In fact, leadership of the two reservations crossed by existing Line 3 have expressed their support for project permits.
Damage on site includes slashed tires, cut hoses, rocks and dirt in engines, forced entry into offices, destroyed electrical wiring in equipment.
For more information, updated construction footage and photos click here.
Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Board Chair