By 2016, a pipeline called Line 61 will carry 50 million gallons of oil per day under the upper St. Croix River and its tributaries the Eau Claire, Totogatic and the Namekagon Rivers.
Troublesome tar sands: Line 61 carries heavy crude oil from Canada. It is so thick it requires dilution with other chemicals and high temperatures to flow, and it can sink in water.
Largest inland oil spill in American history: Enbridge, the company that owns Line 61, was responsible for a 2010 pipeline spill that polluted 36 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
Under the radar: Line 61 was constructed in 2006-2007 with little environmental review or citizen input, and only for 400,000 gallons per day. The current expansion has received almost no public scrutiny.
News and Updates:
- Oil & Water: Minnesota pipeline proposal could increase oil flows through St. Croix River watershed 6/8/2017 Enbridge’s Line 3 would go under the Kettle River headwaters, and increase pipeline demand in Wisconsin.
- Oil & Water: Newspaper report explains why Wisconsin is at center of pipeline plans 3/17/2017 Great Lakes region — including the St. Croix River watershed – has become the focus of industry efforts to get tar sands oil to market.
- Dinner Speaker Will Discuss Oil Pipeline Route Options 4/18/2016 St. Croix River Association annual event will include a presentation by photographer and pipeline safety advocate Richard Hamilton Smith.
- Oil & Water: Line 61 Pipeline Carries Oil That Could Sink if Spilled in the St. Croix Headwaters 12/31/2015 Authoritative new study confirms that diluted bitumen can complicate clean-up by submerging and sticking to surfaces.
- Oil & Water: Pipeline Inspection Site Vandalized 11/30/2015 The oil pipeline that crosses the St. Croix’s headwaters was being excavated when vandals struck on Halloween night.