We are on the "Enbridge Watch."
This company has filled our territory with pipes and is trying to move ahead during the pandemic endangering us all.
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Not Essential Workers ...
April 16, 2020
I’m not sure how Integrity Contractors, an Enbridge contractor became an essential worker but this last week, they’ve been busy moving more equipment to prepare for a pipeline that will never happen. I sort of feel like in the global health pandemic, I shouldn’t have to worry about a pipeline project.
The place is Lake George to the corner by 71 entrance to Itasca Park. There’s a clearly mowed down right of way through the north country for the pipeline, it’s a big scar, but it’s more than about the trees, it’s also our health.
Enbridge is proposing to bring 4200 workers onto start building this pipeline. COVID 19 is supposed to peak in Minnesota in July. They are not essential workers. That’s a problem in a pandemic, a lot of risk for Minnesota. The company promises that half are to be local employees, and half from out of state. They are moving in already.
Risky business for all of us.
Enbridge’s “preconstruction” work across the north country has been aggressive, no doubt. They are hoping to roll. The problem with pipeline projects, is that they often don’t happen. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has not issued its order of February 3, 2020, which left many questions. There are no water quality permits, and the appeals will follow.
Here’s a similar story. This February, the Constitution Pipeline was cancelled, but the company had four years before cut a swath through Pennsylvania, including 500 trees on the land of one farming family.
The Holleran Farm has heritage maple syrup, and the family got a lot of attention when federal marshals armed with semi automatic weapons and bullet proof vests came out to protect tree cutting crews from a handful of land defenders. That was March 2016.
Twenty-eight months later, the Hollerans asked a judge to overturn the injunction that allowed Constitution Pipeline, operated by the Williams Companies, possession of about five acres of their property on which to build the pipeline.
“The continued injunction has, and will continue to, wreak severe hardship on the landowners who continue to play involuntary host to a … company that has not paid a dime of compensation for the occupation and destruction of the landowners’ trees, land and business, or the retaliatory harassment inflicted on them for exercising their First Amendment rights to oppose occupation of their property,” the family said in a document filed in federal court. The Constitution Pipeline company cut over 558 trees on the Holleran farm, all through eminent domain.
Marie Cusick / State Impact Pennsylvania
According to Holleran, the company left the trees lying on the land until the spring of 2017, and failed to remove the stumps, preventing the family from using the land for other purposes, she said. Some of the trees were around 200 years old and so are irreplaceable, she said. The family was not allowed on their own property which now belonged to the Constitution Pipeline.
“The entire ordeal has had an enormous emotional toll,” Holleran wrote. She believes her family was treated more harshly than other landowners “because we spoke out against the pipeline.”
In April 2016, a month after the trees were cut, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied Constitution a Section 401 water-quality permit for the 98 miles of the pipeline due to run through the state. In February of 2020, the pipeline project was cancelled.
Those trees are gone.
That pipeline will never be built.
Pipeline contractors are not essential workers.
Stop cutting, please … and send those guys home.
As of Thursday, May 7th, there had been 8,579 reported cases and 485 deaths in Minnesota.
- Here are the counties that Enbridge Line 3 proposes to cross where they have been conducting "pre construction" despite the State #StayAtHome orders where we have a view that the Covid 19 virus is spreading into the northwoods of Minnesota.
- Aitkin 0
- Becker 16
- Beltrami 6
- Cass 7
- Clearwater 3
- Crow Wing 17
- Hubbard 1
- Itaska 24
- Mahnomen 2
- Otter Tail 19
The Holleran Farm Battle
- APRIL 11, 2019: Trump executive order could affect future of stalled Constitution Pipeline
- JULY 12, 2018: A company cut trees for a pipeline that hasn’t been approved. The landowners just filed for compensation “Family contends the line will never be built”
- JANUARY 15, 2018: After new setback, Constitution Pipeline says it will fight FERC order
- JANUARY 2, 2017: Friends and foes of Constitution Pipeline await appeals court ruling
- March 4, 2016: U.S. Marshals Enforce Eminent Domain for Constitution Pipeline
- MARCH 2, 2016: Maple syrup trees cut to make way for the Constitution Pipeline
- FEBRUARY 25, 2016 Proposed Marcellus Gas Pipeline Sparks Protest At Prized Maple Farm
Petition Cites Dramatic Oil Market Crash, Severe Pandemic Threats, Adequate Clean Water Act Protections, Other Issues.
Friends, we are happy to announce to that Honor the Earth, with our allies filed a legal petition to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) on April 10, 2020, calling for contested case hearings about the agency’s water quality permits for the pipeline.