WI Tribes Raise New Concerns Over Enbridge 'Line 5' Reroute
Monday, December 27, 2021
Wisconsin tribal organizations are raising new concerns about a proposed reroute of Enbridge's Line 5 oil pipeline.
The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, which represents eleven Ojibwe tribes across the Midwest, said the state is not providing a clear picture of how the project will affect surrounding tribal territories and waters, including disruptions to wilderness and the potential for oil spills.
John Coleman, environmental section leader for the Commission, said Line 5's draft Environmental Impact Statement does not properly take tribal rights into account.
"There's some tribes, Wisconsin tribes, that are represented in the document, other tribes aren't," Coleman pointed out. "There's no rationale presented for why some tribes are included and others aren't."
The Department of Natural Resources said it will consider all public input before issuing a new Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Enbridge said keeping the nearly 70-year-old pipeline up and running is critical to the company's operations in the U.S. and southern Canada.
The Red Cliff Band's territory is just north of the proposed Line 5 reroute.
Noah Saperstein, environmental justice specialist for the Red Cliff Environmental Department, said the draft Environmental Impact Statement is too flawed to serve as the foundation for future impact statements.
"Should all of these concerns be addressed and included into the next Environmental Impact Statement, it would be a document that looks so drastically different than what was released for public review," Saperstein asserted. "It would be something that would warrant another public comment period."
The Red Cliff Band has passed a resolution calling for the removal of Line 5 from tribal territories.
Linda Nguyen, environmental director for the Red Cliff Environmental Department, said preserving tribal lands begins with honoring tribal treaty rights.
"Red Cliff remains committed to protecting 'nibi,' which is water, and 'aki,' which is land," Nguyen stated. "And the air of our current and ancestral homelands for our people and the generations to come."
Line 5 currently carries oil through Michigan and Wisconsin, crossing about a dozen miles of the Bad River Reservation in the Northwoods.
The proposed reroute, to circumvent the reservation, was drafted after the tribe decided not to renew the pipeline's right-of-way in 2017. Wisconsinites can weigh in by email, or attend a public hearing on the proposal Feb. 2.
get more stories like this via email
Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …
New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…
A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …
Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…
Health and Wellness
Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…
Health and Wellness
Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …
Health and Wellness
A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …
New York elected officials are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation to transition new buildings off fossil fuels, saying it would make …