Enbridge Inc. is reviewing a newly launched Wisconsin counterpart to the Michigan lawsuit that seeks to shut down a 540,000 b/d northern leg of its oil delivery network in Canada and the United States, the company said.
The Red River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa filed a federal court claim against the Canadian pipeline operator that demands removal of the 66 year-old pipeline, saying reservation easements have expired and an evolving river channel threatens to expose the pipeline conduit to damage and spills.
In response Wednesday, Enbridge said it “has been in good faith negotiations with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe regarding these easements since 2013. The vast majority of Enbridge’s right of way through the Bad River Reservation is covered by either perpetual easements on private land or a 50-year agreement between Enbridge and the Band, which does not expire until 2043.”
The Red River claim adds a parallel case to Michigan court claims and counterclaims launched in June by Enbridge and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Enbridge is seeking enforcement of an agreement with the former state Republican administration on safely encasing the segment, known as Line 5, crossing of the Straits of Mackinac in a new utility tunnel. Nessel, a Democrat whose 2017 election platform pledged to abolish the straits crossing, requested removal of Line 5 as an environmental hazard.