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Line 3 Replacement Project

Key Facts

  • Replacing existing pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Gretna, Manitoba
  • 48-year-old pipeline will be upgraded to more modern technology, safer standards
  • No net loss of wetlands
  • $4.8-billion capital investment
  • $514.7 million in federal and provincial government revenues
  • 7,000 new jobs during construction
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must operate within Alberta’s 100 megatonne cap
  • $21.6 million to fund an Indigenous environment committee to ensure ongoing monitoring of the pipeline project
  • Over $27 million in engagement agreements for Indigenous groups committed by proponent
Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Line 3 Replacement

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Line 3 Replacement

Text Version

This map shows proposed Line 3 Replacement areas of interest and geographic features within Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.

The Government of Canada has approved Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project, subject to 37 binding conditions that will be enforced by the National Energy Board (NEB) before construction can begin, during construction and during operation. The conditions will ensure that the pipeline and facilities are built and operated in a manner that is safe for Canadians and the environment.

The project will involve the replacement of 1,067 kilometres of existing pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Gretna, Manitoba, with new thicker pipeline in many sections built to modern specifications to enhance the safety and integrity of the network. Over 90 percent of the pipeline’s right-of-way is on private land.

The existing Line 3 pipeline is 48 years old and is one of the six crude oil pipelines that make up the Enbridge oil mainline system. It is a mixed-service line, meaning it carries a variety of crude oils. The project will also include the installation of 55 new remotely operated sectionalizing valves, 26 of which will be installed near waterways and allow the pipeline to be shut off quickly if necessary; the installation of 18 new pump stations and associated infrastructure and equipment; and the construction of three new storage tanks located at the Hardisty Terminal.

The outcomes of all consultation and assessment processes are available to Canadians online.

Infographic: Economic Benefits

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Economic Benefits

  • 7,000 new jobs during construction.
  • Increased government revenues to re-invest in priorities like hospitals, roads and clean energy initiatives.
  • Support to thousands of jobs in Canada’s crude oil production sector and supply chain.
  • Vital link to North American refinery markets.

The $4.8-billion project will generate significant economic benefits, including $514.7 million in government revenues from federal, provincial and local taxes, in addition to creating approximately 7,000 full-time jobs during construction.

Line 3 serves as a vital link from North American production regions to Minnesota, Wisconsin and other North American refinery markets. Canada’s most important trading partner continues to be the United States.

Infographic: Environmental Protections

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Environmental Protections

  • New pipeline to enhance safety and integrity.
  • Conditions to protect birds, wildlife and vegetation.
  • No net loss of wetlands.
  • Project fits with Canada’s climate plan to 2030.
  • Projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within Alberta’s 100 megatonne cap.

With new thicker pipeline in many sections, the Line 3 Replacement project will be built to modern specifications that will enhance the safety and integrity of the network and further protect the environment from potential spills.

Conditions have been imposed to reduce disturbance to certain birds, wildlife and vegetation during construction. Also, Enbridge will ensure that the project does not create a net loss to wetland areas.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has assessed the GHG emissions associated with the upstream activities related to the project and was not able to conclude definitively on whether emissions will increase as a result of the project.

Through its Climate Leadership Plan, the Government of Alberta is committing to cap oil sands emissions at 100 megatonnes of CO2 per year. This will limit future potential upstream GHG emissions.

With all these factors, the Government believes that the project does not impact the emissions projections that underpin the plan to meet or exceed Canada’s 2030 target of at least 30 percent reduction below 2005 levels of emissions.

The Pipeline Safety Act, which came into force in June 2016, strengthens Canada’s pipeline safety system by enshrining the “polluter pays” principle into law. Companies will be held liable regardless of fault — $1 billion for operators of major oil pipelines — and be required to have the financial resources to respond to potential incidents. The Act and its supporting regulations will ensure Canada leads the world in safety standards for federally regulated pipelines.

Infographic: Indigenous Involvement

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Indigenous Involvement

  • Extensive consultations, with participant funding.
  • Indigenous advisory and monitoring committee.
  • Economic Pathways Partnership leverages economic and business opportunities.
  • $21.6 million to fund an Indigenous pipeline environment committee to ensure ongoing monitoring of the project.
  • Over $27 million in engagement agreements for Indigenous groups committed by proponent.

Our government is committed to renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. We are committed to reconciliation and will work in partnership to address issues of importance to Indigenous communities.

Government officials consulted with 109 potentially affected Indigenous groups, including face-to-face meetings with 36 groups. The outcomes of these consultations are publicly available in the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.

The objective of the consultations was to discuss the extent to which the NEB’s recommended conditions for the project respond to concerns from Indigenous groups, and identify any outstanding issues and potential accommodation measures to mitigate impacts on their rights.

The Government allocated more than $160,000 in participant funding, in addition to the almost $1 million provided as part of the NEB review process.

To respond to what we heard during these consultations, the Government will provide up to $21.6 million for an Indigenous advisory and monitoring committee that will work with federal regulators and the proponent to oversee environmental aspects throughout the project life cycle.

The Government also announced that it will establish an Economic Pathways Partnership, which will make it easier for Indigenous groups to access existing federal programs that will help them participate in and benefit economically from this project.

The proponent has committed more than $27 million in engagement agreements for Indigenous groups. These agreements include training, traditional knowledge and land use studies, and committed contracts.

Infographic: Community Consultations

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Community Consultations

  • 3,170 respondents to online questionnaire
  • 65 participants in NEB review process

Natural Resources Canada produced an online questionnaire and web portal to solicit public input on the project. The portal accepted public input from May 25 to September 15, 2016. There were 3,170 responses, and a majority came from individuals living along the pipeline route.

These consultations complemented the NEB review process, where 78 participants had the opportunity to provide evidence. Participants included Indigenous peoples, businesses, communities, landowners, individuals and non-government and government organizations.

Decision Principles

In making its decision, the Government followed the five principles it established for project reviews, which were designed to restore trust in the environmental assessment process.  

  1. No project proponent will be asked to return to the starting line.
  2. Decisions will be based on science, traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples and other relevant evidence.
    • The Government considered the NEB’s report and the 37 conditions it imposed.
    • 700 pieces of evidence from subject matter experts in the NEB review.
    • Separate meetings in Winnipeg and Calgary to add oral traditional knowledge from 14 Indigenous groups.
  1. The views of the public and affected communities will be sought and considered.
    • 3,170 respondents to online questionnaire.
  1. Indigenous peoples will be meaningfully consulted, and where appropriate, impacts on their rights and interests will be accommodated.
    • Added four months to consultations.
    • Provided funding for participants.
    • Indigenous peoples will be involved in the project through a monitoring committee and economic partnerships.
  1. Direct and upstream GHG emissions linked to the projects under review will be assessed.
    • Information provided during the NEB hearings stated that direct GHG emissions would not be significant.
    • Upstream GHG emissions, as calculated by ECCC, must operate within the cap in Alberta’s Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act.

Related Project Information

National Energy Board Report

Read the NEB’s decision and recommendations.

Review of Related Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates

View the assessment of possible greenhouse gas emissions for this project.

Online Questionnaire Report

Read the summary of NRCan’s online consultations on this project.

Crown Consultations and Accommodation Report

Read the summary of the Government’s consultations with Indigenous groups.


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