Indian Tribe in Wisconsin Sues Enbridge

A lawsuit against Enbridge Inc. was filed on Tuesday by the Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa aimed at forcing the company to shut down Line 5 pipeline that crosses tribal lands in northern Wisconsin.

Line 5 pipeline transports oil and natural gas liquids from Canada to Michigan. This includes a controversial section that runs along the bed of the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 

Enbridge is seeking to build a tunnel beneath the straits for a new pipeline, but tribal officials say that they no longer want Enbridge to operate the pipeline on tribal lands and fear that a rupture would pose grave environmental damage to the Bad River and other waters that flow to Lake Superior.

“As a community, we are sick of having to bear the fear and anxiety of this line being a constant threat to our community and resources,” said Dylan Bizhikiins Jennings, a tribal member. An Enbridge pipeline spill in 2010 on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan took years and more than $1 billion to clean up. 

“Enbridge has been in good faith negotiations with the Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribe regarding these easements since 2013,” said Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner in a statement. Line 5 pipeline crosses about 12 miles of reservation lands, according to court documents.


U.S. Government Fines Enbridge $1.8 Million for Missing Pipeline Inspection Deadlines

The U.S. government fined Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. more than $1.8 million for reportedly missing deadlines for pipeline inspections following a record-breaking oil spill in Michigan in 2010.

The fine is the result of the latest legal battle related to a pipeline rupture that caused more than 1 million gallons of crude oil to spill into the Kalamazoo River in July 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Nearly 40 miles of the river, shorelines, and wetlands were polluted, and the pricey cleanup process took about four years.

Enbridge in 2016 had complied with U.S. regulators to conduct additional pipeline inspections to its Lakehead network of about 2,000 miles of pipelines and was to use tools that could detect cracks, corrosion, and other pipeline flaws.

But authorities concluded that Enbridge failed to meet the required timeframe for six inspections conducted last year.

Enbridge denies violating the timeframe set in 2016 but agreed to pay the penalty to resolve the matter.


Enbridge Agrees to Pay $177 Million in Fines and Safety Improvements for Michigan Oil Spill

Updated July 22, 2016, at 11:00am

2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill via

2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill via

After multiple extensions for negotiating a fine for the 2010 Kalamazoo River disaster, the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Protection Agency and Enbridge settled at $177 million, announced on Wednesday.

Under the settlement, Enbridge agreed to pay $62 million in fines for violating the Clean Water Act, which is the largest fine for a pipeline spill ever under that law, according to Bloomberg. The company will also spend $110 million in steps toward improving pipeline operations and to prevent future spills across its 2,000-mile span of pipelines near the Great Lakes. Enbridge is also required to replace nearly 300 miles of one of the lines, according to its deal with the EPA. Finally, Enbridge will pay $5.4 million to reimburse the government for cleanup costs.

“Financial accountability is very important. It is something that we take very seriously,” said US Attorney Patrick Miles. “We also want to make sure that we don’t have a recurrence of these types of events. So prevention, detection, and repair are also critical in these matters. And so that is something that this consent decree does and addresses, and my office is very pleased with this solution.”

Enbridge has already paid $57.8 million for reimbursements of cleanup costs for the spill, agreed to pay $75 million in settle claims pursued by the state of Michigan, and spent more than $800 million cleaning up the accident.

In 2010, Enbridge’s Line 6B failed and sent more than 20,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River as a result of the rupture. The accident is one of the largest inland spills in U.S. history. After 22 months of cleanup work, the Kalamazoo River reopened for recreational use.

The settlement agreement has a 30-day public comment period.

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