Tribal lawsuit over Line 3 faces challenge in federal court | KSTP.com

Tribal lawsuit over Line 3 faces challenge in federal court

In this June 29, 2018, file photo, pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis. Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone, File. In this June 29, 2018, file photo, pipeline used to carry crude oil is shown at the Superior terminal of Enbridge Energy in Superior, Wis.

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: August 20, 2021 03:59 PM
Created: August 20, 2021 02:42 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to halt a tribal court lawsuit from moving forward.

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe previously sued the DNR in tribal court, claiming the DNR has taken certain actions related to the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project that have threatened the protection of that land and its resources.

The Line 3 replacement crosses from Alberta to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin.

The DNR's lawsuit claims that "no part of Line 3 crosses any part of the White Earth Reservation," which in turn would mean, according to the lawsuit, that "the tribal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction" to make the claims in its lawsuit.

As a result, the DNR, in its lawsuit, has requested an injunction against any further proceedings related to the tribal lawsuit.

Opponents of the new Line 3 say the heavy oil that would move through the pipeline would accelerate climate change and risk spills in lakes, wetlands and streams where Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish and claim treaty rights.

However, Enbridge representatives have said the replacement, made of stronger steel, will better protect the environment while restoring capacity and ensuring reliable deliveries to refineries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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