Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program

The proposed Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program would replace the aging pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, USA. For the Canadian route, an Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment (EHHRA) was prepared for the National Energy Board (NEB) in Canada. In the United States, an Assessment of Accidental Releases (AAR) and the Supplemental Release Report were part of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (DOC-EERA).  

Computational oil spill modelling was used to assess the variability of predicted trajectory (movement), fate (behavior and weathering), and potential effects (impacts) associated with accidental releases of crude oil along the proposed pipeline. The downstream movement and timing of oil, as well as the expected surface oil thickness, water column contamination, shoreline and sediment oiling, and proportion evaporated to the atmosphere, were provided to assess the potential environmental effects.

Dr. Matthew Horn was involved in numerous stakeholder engagement meetings to identify an approach, select representative release locations, and provide technical results. He also provided evidence and expert testimony during the hearing process. Both assessments were successfully defended to their respective regulatory agency.

Timeline

  • 2015

    In May of 2015, the project was initiated with RPS.

  • 2015

    In August 2015, completion of EHHRA for the Canadian Portion.

  • 2016

    In April 2016, the Canadian National Energy Board concluded that Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program is in Canadian public interest and recommended project approval to the federal Governor in Council.

  • 2016

    In November 2016, the Canadian federal government announced its approval of the Line 3 Replacement Program. 

  • 2016

    In October 2016, the Minnesota Public Utilities Committee adopted a final EIS scoping document.

  • 2017

    In January 2017, the Assessment of Accidental Releases Technical Report was completed. 

  • 2017

    In July 2017, the Supplemental Release Report was completed.

  • 2017

    In August 2017, the Final EIS was released by the MN Department of Commerce.

  • 2017

    From September through October 2017, public hearings were held with expert testimony provided to the Administrative Law Judge.

  • 2018

    In June 2018, the Minnesota Public Utilities Committee approved the Line 3 Replacement Project, granting a Certificate of Need and approving Enbridge’s preferred route with minor modifications and certain conditions. 

  • 2019

    The completion date for this project is expected in 2019.

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2015

In May of 2015, the project was initiated with RPS.

2015

In August 2015, completion of EHHRA for the Canadian Portion.

2016

In April 2016, the Canadian National Energy Board concluded that Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program is in Canadian public interest and recommended project approval to the federal Governor in Council.

2016

In November 2016, the Canadian federal government announced its approval of the Line 3 Replacement Program. 

2016

In October 2016, the Minnesota Public Utilities Committee adopted a final EIS scoping document.

2017

In January 2017, the Assessment of Accidental Releases Technical Report was completed. 

2017

In July 2017, the Supplemental Release Report was completed.

2017

In August 2017, the Final EIS was released by the MN Department of Commerce.

2017

From September through October 2017, public hearings were held with expert testimony provided to the Administrative Law Judge.

2018

In June 2018, the Minnesota Public Utilities Committee approved the Line 3 Replacement Project, granting a Certificate of Need and approving Enbridge’s preferred route with minor modifications and certain conditions. 

2019

The completion date for this project is expected in 2019.

Key Details

Project Name

Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program 

Client

Enbridge, Inc.

Locations

  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, Canada
  • Minnesota, US

Services Provided

  • Numerical Modeling – unmitigated releases of hydrocarbons onto land and into water, oil spill response (mitigated) hydrocarbon release modeling 
  • Environmental Impact Assessment  
  • Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment 
  • Expert Testimony

Design and development:  

  • Utility options and design - Pipeline routing 

Water services: 

  • Water and wastewater network modelling and asset management – model hydrologic network and potential routes for hydrocarbon contamination of drinking water intakes and other susceptible resources 
  • Water quality modelling and monitoring – provide oil spill modeling that identifies the extent, timing, and potential magnitude of water quality impacts from hydrocarbon releases 

Sectors

  • Water management
  • Groundwater
  • Oil and gas
  • Power and gas networks
  • Storage

 

 

 

Environment:  

  • Contaminated land and remediation – Identification of susceptible land following hypothetical releases 
  • Ecology – identify potential effects to terrestrial and aquatic environments 
  • Environmental Impact Assessment – Environmental Impact Statement (US) and Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment (Canada) 
  • Environmental permitting & compliance – Technical reports and numerical modeling completed to meet CEAA, NEB, and PHMSA requirements 
  • Human Health Risk Assessment – preparation of Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment (Canada) using numerical modeling  
  • Hydrology / hydrogeology – hydrologic network and river modeling  
  • Spatial intelligence and GIS – Overlay of oil spill numerical modeling data onto areas of interest (AOI) and high consequence areas (HCA) as well as geospatial depiction of environmental data

Challenge

The project aimed to identify potential effects from a release of oil from any point along the proposed pipeline replacement. Understanding that every oil spill is different, the challenge of this study was to quantitatively identify and bound the range of potential effects following a range of potential hydrocarbon releases. Work was conducted with multiple state and federal agencies, industry, and consulting firms to identify the criteria that would consider the range of biophysical and environmental conditions, as well as public and tribal concerns to include sensitive and representative locations. Two comprehensive assessments needed to be prepared for Federal and State/Provincial regulatory agencies in Canada and the US consisting of a large number of hypothetical release simulations.

Enbridge_Line3 (NAM).jpg


Solution

Two comprehensive assessments were prepared for Federal and State/Provincial regulatory agencies in Canada and the US consisting of 64 hypothetical large volume releases of crude oil into terrestrial and freshwater environments. Scenarios captured a broad range of release locations, crude oil types, and environmental conditions across the proposed preferred and alternative pipeline routes. The predicted movement and behavior of released oil within the environment was assessed, taking into account the site-specific and season-specific geographic and environmental conditions that may influence the trajectory and fate of released crude oil. Both unmitigated and response mitigated release scenarios were modeled using the OILMAPLand and SIMAP models developed by RPS.  

OILMAPLand Enbridge (NAM).jpg

Project Statistics

36"
of crude oil pipeline: light, medium, and heavy crude
1,031
miles (1,660 km) of pipeline
760,000
barrels of expected initial capacity per day
$2.9
billion estimated capital cost in the United States ($5.3 billion in Canada)

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