Enbridge employees participate in regular emergency-response drills and simulations to test and improve our preparedness procedures. Employees are trained through workshops, tabletop and full-scale exercises, and procedural drills, often in partnership with local response agencies, regulators and external observers. In May 2015, Enbridge held a full-scale emergency response exercise on the Souris River near Towner, North Dakota. Enbridge had more than 150 personnel (many from Minnesota) deployed in the field and the incident command post during the two-day event.
- Bill Batchelder, Owner
Bemidji Woolen Mills, Bemidji, MN
Enbridge's current operations and $2.1-billion investment in upgrades and expansions of our pipeline system in Minnesota have garnered support from businesses, and business owners, across the state. See what others supporters have to say about Enbridge's impact in Minnesota here.
Why are you replacing Line 3 instead of maintaining it?
Enbridge continues to carefully monitor and meticulously maintain Line 3; however, replacement is the preferred maintenance option in Line 3’s case. Without replacement, landowners and the environment will experience frequent disruption as a result of numerous required digs and repairs. Line 3 is scheduled to undergo 7,000 maintenance digs over the next 15 years in Minnesota alone.
Is the current Line 3 pipe unsafe? Should we be worried about a leak?
Line 3 is safe in its current operation. The line undergoes systematic preventative maintenance activities and inspections to ensure safe operation. And again, the line operates under a voluntary pressure reduction. These activities will continue until the new line is put into service.
At Enbridge, pipeline safety and reliable operations begin with best-in-class engineering and high-quality construction materials and practices, and continue with state-of-the-art safety systems, meticulous maintenance, and diligent monitoring throughout the life of the pipeline. While Line 3 can continue to operate safely for many years to come, we are proactively replacing the line as part of our ongoing integrity management program.
Won't these pipelines pose a significant threat to northern Minnesota’s lakes country?
No. Less than 2% of the lakes in the watersheds intersected by the preferred route for Line 3 Replacement are susceptible to effects of a potential release. Protecting Minnesota’s water resources is important to Enbridge and our approximately 700 employees and contractors who live, work, swim, canoe, water ski and fish here, too. That’s why we invest significant time, resources and dollars on an overlapping series of preventative measures--including 24/7 monitoring, regular inspections, proactive maintenance, remotely controlled isolation valves, anti-corrosion coatings and cathodic protection.
Pipelines are not new to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Enbridge and other pipeline companies have operated in northern Minnesota for 65 years. During that time, pipeline releases into waterbodies have been extremely rare. We maintain strong emergency preparedness and response systems, which we regularly test and continuously improve alongside first responders, government agencies, and emergency management. In the rare event of a pipeline incident, our personnel and contractors have robust and tested emergency response expertise, training and equipment to ensure a safe, speedy and effective response,. We hope we never have to respond to a spill, but if we do, we're ready.
Pipelines cross a variety of environments, moving energy to where it’s needed and used. More than 2.5 million miles of gas and petroleum pipelines crisscross the United States, safely crossing thousands of waterbodies to deliver the energy we rely on to fuel our daily lives.
Isn’t Enbridge planning to ship this oil on the Great Lakes?
Enbridge is a pipeline-based energy transportation company. Like FedEx or a UPS, we transport products--in this case, crude oil--from Point A to Point B based on our customers’ needs. We don’t own the products we transport. We don’t specify their final destination or their use by our customers, either. We do not have a transmarine facility or a plan to develop such facilities.
From our terminal in Superior, oil leaves via other existing Enbridge pipelines to serve markets in North America. It is important to consider that Enbridge is the major supplier to refineries in the Upper Midwest. We supply about 85 percent of the oil refined in Wisconsin, 79 percent in Minnesota, and 75 percent in the greater Chicago area.
Recently, another company not affiliated with Enbridge, Calumet Specialty Products, suspended plans to ship crude via Lake Superior. This is not an Enbridge project; any inquiries should be directed to Calumet.