WCMC: Call for immediate citizen action as riverbank erosion nears the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline

Pipeline employee says he was fired for raising safety questions

Yellow post (right) marks Line 5’s centerline. Image: Peter Bigboy’s Facebook page, captured by WCMC before Bigboy’s account was hacked.

(Recommended actions listed in an earlier version of this blog have been updated.Information on Judge Conley’s ruling has been corrected/)

Riverbank erosion near the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline corridor is raising immediate safety concerns about the pipeline’s stability and the possibility of a rupture, reports the Wisconsin Citizens Media Coop (WCMC).

The erosion is occurring along the Bad River, where it runs through the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’ reservation in northern Wisconsin. The erosion is now within seven feet of the Line 5 pipeline, WCMC reported.

Organizers are asking for people to pressure on President Biden to revoke Line 5’s Presidential Permit. The permit is needed for liquid pipelines that cross the U.S. border, which Line 5 does, at Sarnia, Ontario. The Secretary of State has the authority to issue Presidential Permits.

To create pressure at the federal level, contact Biden, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Here are a few options.


Line 5 moves “540,000 barrels – or 22.68 million gallons – per day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids,” according to Enbridge.

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LaDuke steps down from Honor the Earth, Line 5 tunnel delayed, and other news

In this post:

  • Indian Country Today: Winona LaDuke steps down from Honor the Earth leadership after $750k judgment in sexual harassment lawsuit
  • Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate seeks return of child from Carlisle Indian Boarding School cemetery
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delays Enbridge Line 5’s Great Lakes tunneling permitting to spring 2025.
  • Lower Phalen Creek project changes name to reflect Native leadership
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Takeaways from testimony on risks from Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 tunnel under the Great Lakes

Enbridge has proposed tunneling under the Straits of Mackinac for twin pipelines carrying light crude oil and natural gas liquids. They would replace the current Line 5 pipelines that run along floor of the Great Lakes.

Enbridge said the tunnel could be built, and the pipelines operated, with extremely little risk. The company said a spill within the tunnel would occur once in 663,000 years and, the risk of having it ignite would be once every 169 million years,

Experts for the Bay Mills Indian Community strongly disagree. Their testimony was recently posted online, raising important questions about the project’s risk.

Five takeaways follow.

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News: Niibi Center launches website; Map restores Anishinaabe names in northern MN; and more

In this post:

  • Niibi Center launches website
  • Map restores Anishinaabe place names in northern Minnesota
  • Judge orders Bad River Band, Enbridge, to negotiate on Line 5 safety measures
  • Cherokee close to Congressional representation
  • Alaska elects its first Native Alaskan to Congress
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Petition to rename Sibley State Park, Cherokee Nation seeks promised Congressional seat, and more

In this post:

  • Naturalist starts petition to rename Sibley State Park
  • Cherokee Nation deserves Congressional seat U.S. promised in 1835
  • Bad River Band slams Enbridge in latest legal brief
  • MN350’s Mutual Aid winter appeal for front-line water protectors
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Drone footage reveals more Line 3 construction damage, water protectors again seek federal intervention

Today, on the one-year anniversary of oil flowing through Enbridge’s new Line 3 tar sands pipeline, Honor the Earth has released a video showing the extent of unreported construction damage.

“We are only beginning to understand the extent of Enbridge’s damage to our fragile fresh water systems – compounded by their botched attempts to fix it,” Honor the Earth said in a media release.

“Minnesota state agencies have not done enough to keep the public informed or ensure our water is safe. Instead, state regulators have continued protecting the Canadian multinational. But the new video evidence says it all: Enbridge has done even more damage than previously known, and they don’t know how to fix it. They must be held accountable and stopped.”

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Bad River Band calls Line 5 court ruling a “positive step,” and other news

In this blog:

  • Bad River Band: Court ruling in Enbridge Line 5 trespass case a “positive step”
  • Nez Perce defendants get court win upholding off-Reservation Treaty rights to fish
  • Report: Former Interior Secretary Zinke lied about his involvement to undermine Tribal casino plans
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Bad River Band gets big court win against Enbridge and its Line 5 crude oil pipeline

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa got a significant victory Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, where a judge ruled that Enbridge Energy and its Line 5 pipeline had trespassed on Reservation lands and unjustly enriched itself since 2013.

In the 56-page ruling, Judge William Conley said the Band was entitled to financial compensation. He stopped short of granting the Band’s request that Enbridge immediately cease pipeline operations across its lands.

“[A]n immediate shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline would have widespread economic consequences,” and have significant implications “on the trade relationship between the United States and Canada,” Conley wrote.

[Update: Getting valid feedback that this isn’t a win. Here’s one comment: “This ruling seems in no way a victory for the Band, except in short-term monetary gain. Basically, Enbridge got what it wanted–the opportunity to bribe the Band (now it’s a forced bribe) to keep the pipeline operating.”]

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How much damage could Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline wreak in Wisconsin? Take the tour!

Every time a new crude oil pipeline is proposed, community efforts to stop it get better and better.

Such is the case with efforts to stop the new Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin. People mobilizing to stop it have created a virtual tour of a critical portion of pipeline route so others can see the potential harm.

They did a fantastic job of combining a map, narrative, and photos. Check it out here.

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News/Events: Congregations invited to address systemic racism, land back victory, and more

In this post:

  • Congregations invited to step into the work addressing systemic racism
  • Line 5 crude oil pipeline tunnel under Great Lakes put on hold
  • Onondaga Nation gets land back
  • How a kelp farm could help restore Tribal sovereignty
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