Proposed pipeline route


What is happening currently with the proposed oil pipeline? 

12-15-2015  A Minnesota Supreme Court decision released today had the effect of supporting a prior ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that the proposed Enbridge pipeline, Sandpiper, must have the potential environmental impact of the pipeline on the surrounding area taken into consideration. The court called for completion of an Environmental Impact Statement  stating that the pipeline “has the potential to cause significant environmental effects.”       STAR TRIBUNE LINK

v11__Enbridge Pipeline Proposed Route

Proposed pipelines cross streams emptying into Whitefish Chain 4 times.










That temporarily stops the regulatory process which could give Enbridge permission to build the pipeline. When the Environmental Impact Statement is finished  the review of the pipeline can start up again.


*Enbridge a Canadian company has plans for up to 3 new pipelines right next to each other that each separately cross 4 different water bodies or streams that feed into our Whitefish Chain.

*The route involves some of the most treasured pristine lakes, streams, and wetlands in Minnesota

*Objections to the route have been raised by the Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

*Those agencies have recommended a more southerly route which they feel would be safer.

*WAPOA fears not only unrepairable damage to our best lakes but also points to the possible prolonged loss of jobs in our 4 county area should there be a pipeline related environmental disaster. The tourism economy is way over half-a-billion dollars per year in our immediate 4-county area.

*The crude oil it carries will not be processed or used in Minnesota, it is just passing through.



WAPOA is for oil pipelines.  We all use oil. Our lives depend on it.

However the pipeline route selected should be along a route where it will cause the least environmental damage  should the pipeline fail and the product spill, a route avoiding Minnesota’s unreplaceable clearest lakes, wetlands, and water supplies.  These are areas where Minnesotans go to camp, fish, swim, hike, hunt, and re-create themselves. They are what makes Minnesota unique.  Without them we would be just another midwestern state.

Importantly, the lake areas are vigorous economic engines supporting thousands of people in the fishing, tourist, and hospitality industries.

The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency after careful review have suggested routes going further south than what Enbridge has proposed.  Routes where a spill would do less damage, routes where clean-up teams and fire departments could quickly and easily get to a pipeline spill. Routes where there are actually roads to a pipeline spill.

It is possible those routes will be longer and cost the company more initially.  But with the southern routes there will be long-term benefits for everyone including the Enbridge company and the public. When there is a pipeline rupture on a southern route, the spill can be reached by existing roads, help will get there faster, the clean-up will be easier, and the area damaged will not be as environmentally sensitive. Benefits for the public and the company.

WAPOA President Tom Watson’s letter on Star Tribune Opinion Page

WAPOA President Tom Watson’s Comments

Letter to Brainerd Dispatch from Pine River Watershed Director

MN DNR Comments

MN Pollution Control Agency Comments