Right now, we have an opportunity to help protect the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in northern Wisconsin, the Great Lakes, family farms, and the Apostle Islands. The deadlines are approaching to submit comments to the U.S. Army Corps (March 22nd) and the Wisconsin DNR on the proposed Enbridge Line 5 pipeline expansion in northern Wisconsin. Submit your one-click comment today to both agencies.
The Bad River Reservation is home to an outstanding, unique coastal ecosystem that powers the fisheries of Lake Superior, with the only remaining extensive coastal wild rice bed on the Great Lakes. This vast wetland, called the Kakagon and Bad River Sloughs, is at the heart of Bad River’s cultural practices, sacred stories, sustenance, and survival.
Enbridge is seeking to reroute a segment of the Line 5 oil pipeline through more than 180 waterways that flow into Bad River’s wild rice beds and fisheries on Lake Superior, despite the Bad River Tribe’s strong opposition.
“I can’t overstress how devastating a spill in the watershed would be,” says Naomi Tillison, Director of the Bad River Mashkiiziibii Natural Resources Department. “The Bad River hatchery is the largest producer of walleye fingerlings in Lake Superior. If the waters that our hatcheries and wild rice beds rely on were contaminated with oil, not only would our supply of food, water and medicines be depleted, our coastal wetlands would be devastated and all of the businesses and people in the region who depend on our fisheries would suffer.”
Built 69 years ago, Line 5 has been operating illegally for nine years at the Bad River Reservation. Enbridge permits expired in 2013, and the Bad River Tribe denied Enbridge’s request to renew in 2017, due to the increasing risk of catastrophic spills at multiple sites. The Bad River Tribe repeatedly called for Enbridge to leave the watershed, but instead Enbridge has proposed to route the pipeline through all of the Bad River’s major tributaries.
Enbridge wants to use the same drilling method that poisoned waterways and aquifers in Minnesota, which could irreversibly pollute drinking water for local residents, towns, and family farms.
In Minnesota, Enbridge wasn’t required to disclose how much toxic drilling fluid they released into groundwater—only surface water—or which chemical additives they used. Geology experts believe Enbridge may have pumped millions of gallons of poisonous drilling mud underground to stabilize the earth during frac-outs, contaminating groundwater in perpetuity at these sites. But Enbridge refuses to share this data with the Minnesota DNR.
Now is the time to transition to renewable energy sources and cure our addiction to fossil fuels. Thank you for speaking in solidarity with the Bad River Tribe and residents of northern Wisconsin.
Stop Line 3 Team