Minnesota officials looking into Line 3 drilling fluid spill

BRAINERD, Minn. – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it is investigating a spill of drilling fluid into the Willow River in Aitkin County last week during construction on the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline.

The agency says about 80 to 100 gallons of drilling fluid, or mud, were inadvertently released on July 6 at a construction site.

Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner tells Minnesota Public Radio that the company immediately shut down the drilling operation, and crews began containment and cleanup.

Environmental groups opposed to the Line 3 project criticized the release. They say the fine particles in drilling mud could impact aquatic life. Line 3 would carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude from Alberta and across North Dakota and Minnesota to Wisconsin.