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Wisconsin tribe asks court to shut down Line 5 due to erosion concerns

Bad River in Wisconsin
Wikimedia Commons
Bad River in Wisconsin

A Northern Wisconsin tribe is asking a federal court to immediately shut down Line 5.

Before Line 5 enters Michigan, it crosses the Bad River in northern Wisconsin. The river is a tributary of Lake Superior.

The Bad River Band says in their emergency filing, the riverbank, on which the pipeline rests, is at risk of collapse.

According to the filing, there are only 11 feet of soil between the river and the pipeline - and half of the bank has already eroded away, leaving the area vulnerable to an oil spill.

Enbridge said the filing is unnecessary, and the pipeline continues to operate safely. The company said it’s offered multiple plans to reinforce the riverbank but needs the Bad River Band’s approval to move forward.

Enbridge said it’s still working on plans to re-route the pipeline off of the Bad River Band reservation.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corps Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She covers rural environmental issues, focused on contamination, conservation, and climate change.