Line 3: New EIS says little impact to Lake Superior

A revised final environmental impact study for the controversial Line 3 pipeline project says that a full rupture of oil flowing into Lake Superior is unlikely within 24 hours of the spill.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in June that a Final Environmental Impact Statement completed in February was insufficient, citing that it did not consider the potential of a spill in the Lake Superior Watershed.

A rupture study, commissioned by Enbridge with input from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Energy Environmental Review Analysis staff, involved computer modeling simulating the chemical and physical behavior of hypothetical oil spills in selected environments under specified conditions, including weathering processes.

The EIS says that the St. Louis River’s curves after the rapids would drive a potential oil spill towards Lake Superior’s shorelines, rather than the lake itself, taking into consideration the likelihood of wind at any given time.

View the chapter on oil spills here. The new segments about the Lake Superior concerns are written in blue text: Line 3 Second Revised FEIS Ch 10 Accidental Releases

View more documents on Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 replacement project on the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s website.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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