MPCA Investigates Release of Drilling Fluid at Line 3 Site Near Palisade
Drilling work at an Enbridge Line 3 construction site near Palisade has been shut down while the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency investigates what it is terming as the inadvertent release of about 80 to 100 gallons of drilling fluid.
The MPCA says this is a non-toxic release, and the drilling mud includes bentonite clay, water, and a gum additive called Sandmaster that is approved by the MPCA’s 401 water certification and is more commonly used as a food additive.
Enbridge Energy released a statement to Lakeland News today saying there were “no impacts to any aquifers nor were there downstream impacts because environmental control measures were included at this location”. The statement went on to say the drilling operation was shut down immediately, that crews followed proper procedures for managing the containment, and that the third-party agency monitors and trained environmental inspectors supervised the cleanup.
Protesters and those opposed to Line 3 say the mud contains fine particles that can smother aquatic life. The MPCA says it has inspected the site and that Enbridge will be consulting with them before resuming drilling.