After rejecting a call in September to shut off Enbridge Inc.’s cross-border Line 5, a federal court in Wisconsin has directed the pipeline company and the Lake Superior Chippewa’s Bad River Band to work together on a spill risk reduction plan for the 540,000 b/d oil conduit.

Enbridge Line 5

U.S. District Court Judge William Conley of the Western District of Wisconsin said the Chippewa tribe needed to adopt the cooperative approach with Enbridge as a positive alternative to closure orders that would be “draconian injunctive remedies.”

The decision calls for meetings by Dec. 17 to start work on spill risk mitigation. Action should preserve Line 5 “for those areas of the United States and Canada that currently depend on it,” Conley wrote.

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