Because the Enbridge replacement project reflects landowner priorities

By Dave Core

Despite all the negative political hype and headlines in recent years, most people are happy to support pipeline projects.

You just need to give them a reason.

The good news is construction on a new—and long overdue—pipeline project began in August. And Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program (L3RP) offers plenty of reasons for Canadians to be supportive.

The first reason is because pipeline landowners—farmers, ranchers, and other rural property owners living along the Line 3 corridor—like it. More on why this should matter to Canadians in a moment.

The L3RP involves replacing 1,660 kilometres of pipeline with a new pipeline that spans from Hardisty, Alta., to Gretna, Man., and south from the U.S.-Canada border into North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Historically, it has not always been easy for the pipeline landowners’ movement to be happy about new or existing projects.

For decades we at the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations, (CAEPLA), have fought for the property rights, safety and environmental stewardship goals of our members.

And we have negotiated some precedent-setting win-win business agreements with industry over the years.

But L3RP is a different story. The project represents the first time CAEPLA has lobbied on behalf of landowners in support of a pipeline project.

Why? And why should the Canadian public care?

This month will mark the first time in history a major North American pipeline project will roll out in full accordance with landowner values and priorities built into the blueprint.

L3RP will be the first pipeline practically “built to spec” for landowners.

That’s because after years of calling for replacement of aging pipelines, CAEPLA was pleasantly surprised when Enbridge reached out and asked for input from landowners on Day 1.

So, what are these “specifications” landowners care so much about and that Enbridge has embraced on this project?

Unprecedented safety standards, for starters.

Safety standards that may well make the new Line 3 among the safest stretches of pipe on the planet.

New 36-inch-diameter pipe, using the latest available high-strength steel and coating technology, will be put in place.  Some of the most advanced engineering ever seen on pipelines will also be employed.  Additionally, L3RP means state-of-the art, security-enhancing detection tools will be deployed.

Together with construction monitors answering directly to landowner committees and a robust, industry-leading biosecurity protocol, everybody living along the Line 3 corridor will gain newfound peace of mind with this project.

CAEPLA’s member landowners and their families live and work next to Line 3 “24/7/365.”

Member support for L3RP was overwhelming, which is why CAEPLA last year urged Natural Resources Canada to expedite approval.

That means Canadians can put a lot of faith in this project.

So much of the scaremongering around pipelines in media and politics is allegedly based on safety and environmental concerns. 

Directly affected pipeline landowners across the Prairies can vouch that those concerns have been addressed and then some.

Enbridge has also committed to partner with CAEPLA for ongoing input from landowners as the project completes in phases over the next couple of years.

No pipeline is perfect.  But L3RP sets a new standard for energy transport projects that Canadians can have confidence and take comfort in for decades to come.


— Dave Core, Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations


Pipeline Observer


Landowner-driven, CAEPLA advocates on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and other rural landowners to promote safety and environmental protection through respect for your property rights.