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Judge unlikely to shut down Line 5 at Wisconsin tribe's request

Bad River in Wisconsin
Wikimedia Commons
Bad River in Wisconsin

A federal judge said he won’t force Enbridge to turn off the Line 5 pipeline after a Wisconsin tribe appealed for its immediate shutdown. But the judge says he’ll soon issue a ruling on what conditions would justify a shutdown.

In an emergency filing earlier this month, the Bad River Band asked a federal court to immediately shut down the pipeline, which crosses through the Band’s reservation in Northern Wisconsin.

They said the bank of the Bad River, where the pipeline rests, is at risk of collapse due to erosion. Enbridge said the pipeline continues to operate safely.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said the tribe has not taken any steps to reduce erosion and hasn’t approved any of Enbridge’s proposed plans to reinforce the riverbank.

Conley said he’ll follow up with a formal ruling in the next two weeks.

Enbridge is still planning to re-route the pipeline off 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.
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