August 12, 2022

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Business is my step

Enbridge pipeline worker killed in industrial accident

4 min read

A worker on Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project was killed Friday in an accident in Hill City, Minn.

The accident involved a contractor at a construction yard, essentially a staging area for workers and equipment on one section of the pipeline.

In a statement, Enbridge said it stopped work on that section of the 340-mile oil pipeline Friday, and that “safety standards and protocols were reinforced.” Work resumed Saturday.

Calgary-based Enbridge declined to disclose any details about the accident or the worker who was killed.

The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment, directing questions to Enbridge. The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the death.

Enbridge said that grief counseling is being made available for workers.

Construction on the controversial $2.6 billion pipeline began less than three weeks ago, after Line 3 traversed the Minnesota regulatory process for six years.

At least 2,000 construction workers are already building the pipeline, a number expected to rise to 4,200. It’s one of the largest construction projects in Minnesota in recent years.

The pipeline across northern Minnesota will ferry Canadian heavy oil from Alberta to Enbridge’s oil terminal in Superior, Wis. It will replace Enbridge’s current Line 3, which is corroding and can operate at only half-capacity.

Enbridge says the new pipeline is a major safety improvement that will restore the full flow of oil.

Environmental groups and Ojibwe bands oppose the pipeline, which will partly follow a new route. They say it will open up more Minnesota waters to oil spill damage, along with exacerbating climate change.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

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