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At least two arrested in pipeline protest in Superior

At least two people were arrested Wednesday morning in a protest at an Enbridge pipeline construction site in Superior.

According to Superior police and video posted on social media, at least two protesters locked themselves inside a length of pipeline sitting above-ground at the site on the 500 block of North 58th Street. Police were called to the site at about 6:30 a.m., Assistant Police Chief Matt Markon said.

The protesters, who identify themselves as water protectors, painted messages on several lengths of pipe, including: "Stop Line 3," "Honor the treaties" and "Remember missing & murdered indigenous women."

Wednesday's protest was the latest in a series of actions taken against the Line 3 project in Douglas County since late August, resulting in more than a dozen arrests.

The new pipeline would replace Enbridge's existing 50-year-old Line 3 that crosses northern Minnesota on its route from Alberta to Superior. While construction has started in both Canada and Wisconsin, the review process in Minnesota remains ongoing with a decision on whether to approve the pipeline expected next spring. The protests have called for the removal of Line 3.

Enbridge released a statement Wednesday condemning the protests:

“Once again a group of individuals trespassed on Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project work site … trying to interrupt construction on the permitted project site. It is our intent to seek to resolve differences of opinion through peaceful and respectful dialogue, but we cannot have trespassing, vandalism, or unlawful actions that put people and the environment in harm's way.”

Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said the project is intended to keep the company’s system safe and is being done “in accordance with regulatory approval by the state of Wisconsin, which included an Environmental Impact Statement that was conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.”

The company said the Wisconsin portion of the pipeline, from the Enbridge Superior terminal to the Minnesota border, will be completed by mid-December.