BEMIDJI, Minn. — Protesters have conducted a water ceremony and blocked a bridge near Enbridge Energy's planned Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.
An American Indian woman conducted the ceremony on the banks of the Mississippi River on Tuesday. Demonstrators also raised a tepee on the bridge south of Bemidji. There were no arrests, and the tepee is now down.
Clearwater County Engineer Dan Sauve (soh-VAY') says the protest delayed a contractor for a couple of hours, and that the road project is unrelated to Line 3.
In June, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission gave Enbridge the green light to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across Minnesota. A PUC meeting to discuss whether Enbridge met conditions was postponed after being disrupted by protesters last week.
Native American and environmental activists contend the new line risks spills in fragile areas. But Republican state Rep. Matt Grossell of Clearbrook calls the replacement pipeline "the safest and most efficient way to move oil to market."
Canadian-based Enbridge says there is no Line 3 replacement construction going on anywhere in Minnesota. Construction is not expected until next year.