The Line 3 pipeline decommissioning process



The next step for Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement Program in Canada

Construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Pipeline in Canada was completed on schedule in May 2019, followed by reclamation of the 1,070-km pipeline right-of-way in August 2020. The next phase of the Line 3 Replacement Program will involve decommissioning the existing Line 3 pipeline, which we anticipate will begin in June 2021 in Manitoba (Segment 4) followed by the remaining portions in Alberta and Saskatchewan as early as Spring 2022 (Segments 1-3).

On Dec. 1, 2016, the National Energy Board (NEB), now the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) authorized the construction and operation of the Line 3 Replacement Program (L3RP). The authorization for the Program includes the decommissioning of the existing Line 3 pipeline, subject to a number of conditions.

Decommissioning entails taking a pipeline permanently out of service, safely and responsibly. The practice of decommissioning in place minimizes the potential effects on communities and the environment, as well as the stability issues that surround soil disturbance. For Enbridge’s existing Line 3 pipeline, the decommissioning process will involve wiping and cleaning, disconnecting, segmenting, filling (at strategic points), and continuing to monitor the line.

Please check out our video, fact sheet and other resources shown here to learn more about the decommissioning process.

Indigenous Line 3 decommissioning webcast

To review the Oct. 7, 2020 Line 3 Decommissioning webcast, please click here.

Regional Line 3 decommissioning maps

The links below will take you to printable/downloadable regional PDF maps showing the proposed decommissioning activities along the existing Line 3 pipeline:

Project Timeline

  • Segment 1: Anticipated in 2022
  • Segment 2: Anticipated in 2022
  • Segment 3: Anticipated in 2022
  • Segment 4: Anticipated to begin in June 2021 with site preparation for cleaning followed by the field activities (segmentation, isolation, and railway fill) in August 2021.

Indigenous engagement

At Enbridge, we are committed to early engagement and meaningful dialogue with Indigenous groups along our pipeline rights-of-way—including Line 3—based on mutual respect and trust.

Our approach to Indigenous relations recognizes and respects the history, uniqueness and diversity of Indigenous groups across Canada.

Enbridge’s Indigenous Peoples Policy governs our interactions with Indigenous people. Enbridge’s policy lays out key principles for Indigenous relations, such as respect for traditional ways and land, heritage sites, the environment, and recognition of unique legal and constitutional rights. The policy is designed to ensure that Indigenous groups near our projects and operations, including the Line 3 right-of-way, receive sustainable benefits.

As part of our engagement strategy, Enbridge aims to create opportunities that are aligned with the aspirations of many of the people within Indigenous communities. Our Indigenous Relations focus areas include:

We strive to improve our own guidelines and programs to forge mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous groups near our projects and operations.

Regulatory Information

In December 2016, Enbridge received approval to construct and operate the Line 3 Replacement Program through NEB Certificate OC-063 and Order XO-E101-004-2016 as well as approval to decommission a portion of the existing Line 3 pipeline through the Decommissioning Order, MO-008-2016.

The Decommission Order (MO-008-2016) is subject to 22 conditions, including those mentioned below.

On April 1, 2021, the Canada Energy Regulator approved:

  • Condition 11 (Decommissioning Plan)
  • Condition 13 (Outstanding TLU investigations)
  • Condition 14 (Decommissioning Consultation Plan)
  • Condition 15 (Decommissioning Consultation Plan for Landowners)

To view the letter from the CER to Enbridge regarding Order MO-008-2016, Condition 11, 13, 14 and 15 approval click here.

Regulatory filing of Conditions 11, 13 and 14 with the Canada Energy Regulator:

  • Condition 11: Detailed Decommissioning Plan on November 9th (Filing ID C09454)
    • To view Condition 11 click here
  • Condition 13: Outstanding Traditional Land Use Investigations – Decommissioning Activities on November 10th (Filing ID C09501)
    • To view Condition 13 click here
  • Condition 14: Decommissioning Consultation Plan for Aboriginal Groups on November 10th (Filing ID C09499)
    • To view Condition 14 click here

Contact us

If you have any questions about Line 3 decommissioning, or if you require further information, please call our toll-free line at 1-888-967-3899 or send an e-mail to projects@enbridge.com.