In 2022, the ACLU of Wisconsin submitted public comments regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Enbridge's proposed relocation of its Line 5 petroleum pipeline. We asked the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to intervene and reject the proposal because it would allow the pipeline to continue to operate within Bad River Band Reservation, posing both environmental and health risks to the people who live there.
The Bad River watershed is crisscrossed 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 course skirts the edge of the Bad River Reservation and still will be within the Bad River watershed, which means that any rupture would contaminate the reservation.
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.
In June 2023, Judge William Conley ordered Enbridge to shut down Line 5 within 3 years and pay the Bad River Band more than $5 million for trespassing. Enbridge appealed the decision.