ACTION ALERT: Enbridge’s Line 5, Public Comment Needed

Jul 2, 2020 | Citizen Advocacy

Wisconsin voices are needed. The Wisconsin DNR (WI DNR) recently held an online public hearing on the proposed reroute of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron Counties.

Construction of the new segment would allow Enbridge to continue operating the hazardous liquid pipeline in environmentally sensitive areas including the Bad River, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan watersheds.

The WI DNR has announced that the hearing will cover Enbridge’s application for a waterway and wetland permit, as well as the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement that will be prepared for the overall project.

Take Action to Protect Wisconsin’s Waters

Here’s how you an take action and learn more:

  1. View the hearing:
    View the recording of the hearing held on July 1st: click here.
    Watching the hearing is a good way to learn about this project.
  2. Submit written comments
    Email comments to: [email protected]
    Or, mail comments to:
    “Line 5 Comments EA/7”
    101 South Webster Street
    Madison, WI 53707
    All written comments must be submitted or postmarked by no later than July 11, 2020.

Suggested Talking Points

Local partners have shared suggested talking points for your written comments to WI DNR:

  1. Enbridge’s 67-year-old Line 5 poses an imminent danger to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and all the Great Lakes. Enbridge is a company with an awful safety track record. The potential for disaster is high and the public could end having to pay for the cleanup. Line 5 needs to be decommissioned immediately, not re-created one section at a time.
  2. Oil and water do not mix. Water is the lifeblood of Northern Wisconsin. The Bad River watershed is laced with rivers and streams flowing north from the Penokee Range to Lake Superior. Line 5 currently crosses the Bad River Reservation, and pipes there have been exposed by weather and erosion, creating a potential disaster.  The proposed new section is barely outside the Bad River Reservation, and still within the Bad River watershed, which means that any rupture would contaminate the reservation. The proposed Line 5 extension is actually even more of a threat to the Bad River than the current route. A pipeline spill would devastate the watershed and pollute the Bad River and its myriad of rich wetlands, killing fish, waterfowl, and wild rice beds. The resulting contamination would make the Bad River tribal members’ way of life impossible. 
  3. The proposed new section would cross the Bad River just upstream of Copper Falls State Park. Copper Falls State Park, created in 1929, is a treasure beloved by locals and travelers. Line 5, in this proposal, will wrap around 3 sides of the park, crossing both the Bad River and Tyler Forks River which converge at the iconic Brownstone Falls. Eight and a half miles of river traverse this park, rivers which would be forever destroyed by an oil spill. A rupture there would send the oil down a powerful chute, reaching the park, the reservation, and Lake Superior very quickly.
  4. Every year the world suffers increased harm from climate chaos: floods, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, new diseases, extreme weather events, etc. Every level of government must think in new ways of how to protect us. The DNR needs to broaden its focus and stop approving new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, and start decommissioning existing ones.

Learn More

Learn more about the Wisconsin section of Line 5 from these sources:

For questions, please contact, Allison Werner, by email at [email protected].