Sandpiper pipeline project


WAPOA to Host Pipeline Information Meeting on August 5, 2015 regarding the Enbridge Sandpiper and two other pipelines.

You likely have heard of the Sandpiper Pipeline.  Have you heard about Line 3, Line 67 and other proposed pipelines?

The Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) has invited Richard Smith, President of Friends of the Headwaters (FOH), a local environmental group based in Park Rapids, to inform lake associations and groups, private property owners, and local governments about the impacts of pipelines – Sandpiper, Line 3, Line 67 and more – proposed to go through our lake country in northern Crow Wing, Aitkin, Cass and Hubbard Counties.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 5 at 2:00PM at the Fifty Lakes Foundation Building (1block north of the intersection of County Rd 1 and County Rd 3) in Fifty Lakes.

WAPOA is taking this opportunity again as we did last summer to coordinate and encourage lake associations, private property owners, and local governments in our area and along the proposed Enbridge route to hear the latest news about the pending proposals for routing the Enbridge Sandpiper, Line 3, Line 67 and other pipelines through this area.

It is our understanding that the petroleum raw material being proposed for pipeline transport through our area will not be directly available to US residents and thus will not make us less dependent on foreign sources.

WAPOA is not opposed to pipelines as a method of transporting crude oil and tar sands,
although that proposition is questionable.

WAPOA is opposed to routing pipelines through a region of Minnesota that has some of the finest quality waters in the Midwest and creates a threat to a local and regional economy.  This economy, based largely on tourism and seasonal and recreational uses, driven by the high quality public waters in this area, is being threatened by a Canadian company (Enbridge) with a documented record of over 800 pipeline breaches in the past ten (10) years seeking State of Minnesota approval to route multiple pipelines through our area. At more than one breach per week including major oil pipeline breaks like the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, the multi-million dollar local economy that depends on quality public water is placed at risk.

Enbridge has submitted applications to route and obtain a certificate of need for a replacement Line 3. In addition to the proposed Sandpiper pipeline, an expanded Line 67 (Alberta Clipper) and more pipelines are “in the works.”

To learn more about the FOH about Enbridge and the Sandpiper Pipeline, and about the alternate route proposal(s), please go to
County maps that show the pipeline route through your county are available on this website.

If you know persons or lake groups that might be interested, please invite them.  If you have questions about the meeting, please contact Ken Neihart, WAPOA Director of Outreach
[] or Tom Watson, WAPOA President [].


7-22-2014: Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company, proposes to build a new pipeline carrying crude oil that will cross the upper part of the Pine River watershed.

This project is complicated.

There are concerns from multiple citizen groups and Minnesota public agencies that the proposed pipeline route is not the safest route, that there are safer pipeline routes than those proposed by the company.  This page is our effort to organize much of the information about the project.  A good place to start is the map immediately below.

Proposed pipeline crosses Pine River watershed streams at four different places.

Proposed pipeline crosses Pine River watershed streams at four different places.

Opposed to the proposed pipeline route are WAPOA (Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn), the Minnesota DNR, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Pine River Watershed Alliance, Friends of the Headwaters, Honor the Earth, Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations.

Update May 25, 2015:  Enbridge now is proposing not only the Sandpiper pipeline along the Sandpiper route on the map, but also wants to relocate a pipeline called “LINE 3” to this same route.  To clarify, there would then be not one, but two pipelines proposed for this “Sandpiper” route.

Update April 14, 2015  Comment on Brainerd Dispatch Editorial

WAPOA’S position on the project 1-27-2015

Minnesota DNR ‘s position on the pipeline route as proposed 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency position 

Public Utilities Commission orders broader study of alternate routes.

Friends of the Headwaters position 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency position

Minneapolis Star Tribune article

Enbridge Website





Below is the first meeting that WAPOA organized in the summer of 2014 to find out more about the project.

The Whitefish Chain derives its water from the Pine River watershed.  The pipeline will cross  streams that eventually flow into the Whitefish Chain.

Proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline featured in a Northland Press article. WAPOA invited Richard Smith of Friends of the Headwaters to discuss their position on the proposed pipeline.

Proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline featured in a Northland Press article. WAPOA invited Richard Smith of Friends of the Headwaters to discuss their position on the proposed pipeline.

WAPOA had an informational meeting July 22, 2014. Fifty-five people attended the presentation and approximately fifteen different lake associations/organizations/businesses were represented at the meeting.  Richard Smith, President of Friends of the Headwaters, presented a detailed update on the pipeline project proposed by Enbridge.

Click on the Northland Press image for a detailed account of the meeting

Smith said that he and his group are not opposed to oil pipelines, that pipelines are needed, but that they should not be routed through environmentally sensitive areas if there is an alternative route where a spill would cause less damage.

He said the plan proposed by Enbridge would cross a great deal of Minnesota’s  environmentally sensitive land, containing wetlands and its clearest lakes.

These are the lakes that make Minnesota unique, that Minnesotans treasure, that they visit for recreation. The lakes are important economically to the people in their area and to the state.   Tourists, coming to the lakes, provide many jobs.

Smith said Friends of the Headwaters had proposed an alternative route that would  be better for the environment if a spill occurred.

If you missed that meeting more information is available on the following links:

Click on Northland Press image above for their article on the meeting sponsored by WAPOA

Other links below

Minneapolis Star Tribune article