Enbridge open to rerouting Line 5 after lawsuit by Wisconsin Indigenous band

Line 5 route in Michigan. Image: Enbridge

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Enbridge Inc. says it's willing to consider rerouting a major oil pipeline around the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin.

Members of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge on Tuesday in hopes of forcing the Calgary-based company to remove sections of its Line 5 pipeline that run across their reservation. They say it's increasingly likely the 66-year-old line will rupture and cause catastrophic damage.

The tribe decided in 2017 not to renew easements that allow the pipeline to cross its swampy reservation on Lake Superior.

Enbridge said in a statement Thursday it's “surprised and disappointed.” The company says it has considered rerouting Line 5 around the reservation and remains open to that as a solution.

Enbridge's 66-year-old Line 5 carries 87 million litres of crude oil and propane daily from Sarnia, Ont., to eastern Michigan. The line runs across 12 miles of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's swampy reservation in far northern Wisconsin.

Michigan's attorney general sued Enbridge in June in an effort to shut down the company's dual oil pipelines in the Great Lakes, saying they pose an ”unacceptable risk.”

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