Enbridge found to average one pipeline incident every 20 days and new pipelines are not risk free: Greenpeace Report

November 14, 2018

© Amber Bracken / Greenpeace

WASHINGTON, DC November 14, 2018 – A new Greenpeace USA report “Dangerous Pipelines: Enbridge’s History of Spills Threatens Minnesota Waters”[1] found that from 2002 to 2018, Enbridge (and its joint ventures and subsidiaries) averaged one pipeline incident every 20 days.

“Enbridge has an alarming spill record. Building a new pipeline in Minnesota won’t clean up their record. New pipelines leak too, and are not risk free. Replacing the dangerous old Line 3 with a new pipeline won’t guarantee safety and protect Minnesota communities,” said Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Rachel Rye Butler.

The report identified 46 Enbridge spills that were due to equipment or materials installed 10 years or fewer prior to the incident, showing Enbridge’s pipeline incidents are from both recently installed equipment as well as older legacy equipment.

Thirty Enbridge spills contaminated water resources, including 17 that contaminated groundwater resources, according to the report. The proposed Line 3 expansion would cross several environmentally sensitive areas including Indigenous treaty lands. The route would require 227 surface water crossings, including 46 waters designated for beneficial uses and water quality, and seven navigable river crossings.

These 307 Enbridge incidents spilled 2.8m gallons of hazardous liquid, enough to fill more than four olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Folks in the region will remember Enbridge’s Kalamazoo River disaster which impacted hundreds of families, polluted waterways, and cost more than one billion dollars to clean up. Pipelines new and old inevitably spill. Governor Dayton must shore up his legacy and stop Enbridge from building the dangerous Line 3 project that cuts through Indigenous land, puts water and wildlife at risk of oil spills, and contributes to climate change,” Butler said.

The report comes out as Minnesota’s Governor Dayton is set to leave office and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has yet to finalize permits for the project.



[1] Click here for Greenpeace USA’s report “Dangerous Pipelines: Enbridge’s History of Spills Threatens Minnesota Waters”, published on November 14, 2018

[2] Click here for the PDF

[3] Photos and Videos can be accessed: Here

Media contact

Leola Abraham, Global Communications Lead, Greenpeace USA: +1 (202) 413 8930, [email protected]


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