Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Line 5 easement renewals

January 06, 2017

January 6, 2017

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has announced a formal resolution calling for the decommissioning and removal of Line 5 from its reservation in Northern Wisconsin. This news broke late Thursday via a media release sent by the Band. Enbridge was not contacted directly by the Band.

We are surprised to learn of the Bad River Band’s decision not to renew individual easements within the reservation for Line 5 after negotiating in good faith for the past several years.

Enbridge and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa have been discussing the easement renewal since before the agreements expired in 2013. Enbridge has responded to Band’s requests for information and negotiated in good faith for the past three and a half years. In addition to working toward a mutually beneficial agreement, Enbridge also worked with the Band’s cultural resources, natural resources, and legal departmental staff to maintain safe pipeline operations within the boundaries of the Reservation.

Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline has been safely operating through the reservation since 1953 and it provides an important supply of light crude oil and natural gas liquids.  An easement was acquired at the time of construction. And Enbridge still maintains an agreement with the Band into the 2040s. The tracts within the reservation with the easements that expired in 2013 do not represent our entire relationship with the Band.

Line 5 provides a vital link to propane and other energy supplies in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Line 5 transports up to 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are refined into propane. These products heat homes and businesses, fuel vehicles, and power industry.

We will be taking some time to review the Band’s decision in detail to determine our next steps.