Enbridge Energy is considering re-routing a pipeline out of an American Indian reservation and is seeking permission to conduct land surveys in northern Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Public Radio reported that the permission is to conduct environmental surveys along a 40-mile stretch in Ashland and Iron counties to replace an existing 20-mile segment of Line 5 that runs through the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's reservation.
Enbridge only wants access to land for surveys at this point to see which routes may be feasible, Jennifer Smith, Enbridge's community engagement manager for the upper Midwest said. She added that the company wants to reach agreements with landowners and to avoid eminent domain.
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa members sued Enbridge in July in hopes of forcing the company to remove sections of the pipeline that run across their swampy reservation just south of Lake Superior.
Line 5 carries Canadian crude and propane to eastern Michigan. The members of Bad River Band argues that it's increasingly likely the 66-year-old line will rupture and cause catastrophic damage.