Carlton County has concerns about a request from Enbridge to use about 7.9 million gallons of water from Chub Lake.
Enbridge applied for water appropriation permits from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be able to use water from the Carlton lake. Enbridge plans to use the water during the proposed replacement of its Line 3 crude oil pipeline from Superior to Alberta, Canada, for dust suppression and hydrostatic testing.
Aside from the DNR, Enbridge also has to get permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and provide notification to landowners, including the county, since the water body is less than 500 acres.
The Carlton County Board of Commissioners voted Monday, April 22, to not sign the consent letter due to concerns it would potentially help spread an invasive species called eurasian watermilfoil that's found in Chub Lake.
Instead, the county and Chub Lake Association will submit concerns and questions to the DNR to consider during the commenting period.
Heather Cunningham, county zoning and environmental services administrator, said the county doesn't technically have a say in whether or not Enbridge moves forward with its request.
"They (DNR) can still say yes, but maybe they will take our concern about using infested waters for dust control," Cunningham said. "Maybe they'll say, 'All right, you can't use it for dust control, but you can just use it to test the pipe.' They take all of that into consideration."
David Beal, a resident on Chub Lake and president of the Chub Lake Association, shared his concerns regarding the spread of eurasion watermilfoil.
"We require all of our boaters or anybody that uses the lake to clean, drain and dry, which is the law," Beal said. "To take water out and spread it around kind of goes against that law. It goes against our best practices of keeping it in the lake, managing it and making sure it doesn't get out and into any other water bodies."
The DNR recommended Enbridge use the St. Louis River as another water source, Beal said, which he urges Enbridge to consider using instead.
Enbridge requested 600,000 gallons to control dust sources from becoming airborne during replacement of the pipeline. A water intake device would withdraw water to be transported by storage tanks or a water truck.
The second permit requested 7.3 million gallons of water from Chub Lake for hydrostatic testing, or testing the pipeline for strength and leaks, which would be transported by an above-ground pipe or storage tanks. The request is for late summer and early fall 2020.