Skip to main content

Enbridge Energy's much-criticized Line 3 pipeline is "substantially complete," and it will begin service on Friday. 

The Canadian oil company announced Wednesday that oil will start flowing through the 1,097-mile pipeline on Oct. 1, much to the dismay of environmental activists and Indigenous tribes who have fought hard to prevent the pipeline replacement project from happening, citing environmental concerns. 

Related [Aug. 11]: MPCA: 28 drilling fluid releases during Line 3 construction, including into wetlands

Related [Sept. 16]: Minnesota DNR orders Enbridge to pay $3.32M over Line 3 environmental violations

The pipeline will carry millions of gallons of crude oil daily from the tar fields in Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, via 337 miles of pipeline in northern Minnesota. 

The section in Minnesota was the last to be completed. Construction began last December after a years-long review and permitting process.

The Line 3 project has proved a controversial one, dividing those who wanted the jobs boost that such a construction project would bring (it employed more than 4,000 people) – backed by many state Republicans – with those who fear the potential environmental risk of a pipeline cutting through areas of natural beauty and watersheds as well as those who seek a shift away from fossil fuels to reduce the impacts of climate change.

In addition to environmentalists, Indigenous tribes fought the pipeline, citing the damage the pipeline could do to northern Minnesota waters, including the Mississippi River headwaters, where Native Americans harvest wild rice and hold treaty rights. 

The project faced fierce opposition in court (one case is still pending in federal court) and on the ground. More than 900 activists were arrested or cited as they protested the construction of the pipeline over the past several months, the Sierra Club said Wednesday. And activists continue to call on President Joe Biden and Gov. Tim Walz to put a stop to Line 3.

Enbridge continues to stress the Line 3 pipeline is needed and is safe for the environment. Al Monaco, Enbridge's president and CEO, said in a news release Wednesday the pipeline is about "modernizing our system and improving safety and reliability for the benefit of communities, the environment and our customers."

Enbridge did not mention in its announcement the several environmental incidents that occurred during construction in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has fined Enbridge $3.32 million over an environmental violation related to the construction of the pipeline. And there were 28 drilling fluid releases, including into wetlands, which the MPCA is still investigating.

In response to the news that the Line 3 pipeline is complete, Sierra Club North Star Chapter Director Margaret Levin said in a statement:

“This is not the outcome we hoped for, but the fight to stop Line 3 has always been a fight for climate justice and a future free from fossil fuels, and that fight will not stop just because Enbridge has succeeded in building this pipeline. Our movement is powerful, and we are not going anywhere. We will keep pushing forward — demanding that our elected leaders live up to their promises and lifting our voices for healthy and safe communities and climate justice.” 

Next Up


Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.


Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.


enbridge energy line 3

MN appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

The decision is a blow to Tribal leaders and environmentalists fighting the project.

enbridge energy line 3

Enbridge to pay $11M for Line 3 pipeline spills, breaches

The fines go towards "payments, environmental projects, and financial assurances from Enbridge."

Flickr - Enbridge Line 3 Palisade - Lorie Shaull

DNR temporarily suspends some of Enbridge's Line 3 surface water permits

The ongoing drought has led to worryingly low stream flow levels in some areas.

enbridge line 3

Complaint argues that Line 3 pipeline replacement is no longer needed

Honor the Earth filed the petition with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday.

Gov. Tim Walz to continue appeal to block Enbridge oil pipeline

The appeal was originally launched by the Dayton administration.

Preferred Line 3 route

Walz administration files appeal against Line 3 pipeline

The action is the latest in a year-long process surrounding the controversial project.

enbridge line 3

Minnesota DNR grants 2 approvals for Line 3 pipeline

The Enbridge pipeline replacement project would replace a crude oil pipeline in northern Minnesota.