The proposed Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program would replace the aging pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, USA. For the Canadian route, an Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment (EHHRA) was prepared for the National Energy Board (NEB) in Canada. In the United States, an Assessment of Accidental Releases (AAR) and the Supplemental Release Report were part of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (DOC-EERA).
Computational oil spill modeling was used to assess the predicted trajectory (movement), fate (behavior and weathering), and potential effects (impacts) associated with accidental releases of crude oil along the proposed pipeline. This modeling included the 2-dimensional OILMAPLand and 3-dimensional SIMAP models. A total of 64 hypothetical release scenarios were investigated to understand the range of potential trajectories, fates, and effects that may be possible from multiple product types (Bakken, Federated Crude, and Cold Lake Winter Blend), released at any location, under varying environmental conditions.
Trajectory and fate modeling was used to predict the downstream movement and timing of oil, as well as the expected surface oil thickness, water column contamination, shoreline and sediment oiling, and proportion evaporated to the atmosphere. These results were then used to assess the potential environmental effects to demonstrate the variability of outcomes following a release under different release conditions.