Watch the Line MN is a coalition of organizations and individuals opposed to the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline and committed to preserving northern Minnesota’s clean waters and lands, including the Headwaters region. Now that the project has gotten all of the required permits, we plan to lawfully monitor its construction and report on any suspected environmental violations.

Our work builds on similar efforts in other states. Volunteers in Iowa organized to monitor construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. North Carolina Pipeline Watch was created to monitor a 200-mile stretch of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that would cross several states.


The proposed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline would run 355 miles across northern Minnesota, carrying a proposed 760,000 barrels of tar sands crude daily through some of the state’s cleanest waters. 

Line 3 is not a done deal. Enbridge has gotten permits from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, but will face major legal challenges in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Watch the Line MN is committed to observing Line 3 construction activities to contribute to the broad coalition working to stop this project.

Line 3 threatens: 

  • Our waters and wild rice: Line 3 would cross under the Mississippi River twice, including the headwaters area. It would cross more than 200 water bodies. All pipelines eventually spill, and a spill would be a disaster, especially if it were in or near a wild rice bed.
  • Our wetlands: State rules say that utilities such as pipelines should avoid wetlands. According to Enbridge, the Line 3’s proposed route would cross more than 79 miles of wetlands. (For comparison, Minneapolis to Collegeville is 75 miles.) 
  • Our climate and future generations: Line 3’s crude oil would increase climate damage worldwide by $287 billion, state estimates say. That includes impacts from more severe storms and droughts. That’s unacceptable for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
  • Treaty rights: The Anishinaabe have treaty-protected rights to hunt, fish and gather along the proposed Line 3 route. A pipeline spill threatens those rights. Indigenous opposition based on treaty rights was given no weight in this process.      
  • Indigenous women: A massive construction project such as Line 3 would increase risks of drug and sex trafficking along the pipeline route. The trafficking risk is particularly high for indigenous women and girls.

The project poses big risks to Minnesota with little long-term benefit. Most of the oil is intended for overseas markets, not the Midwest. The Minnesota Department of Commerce concluded that Enbridge had failed to show that the pipeline is needed.