Enbridge Inc. has announced it is beginning the permitting process to reroute its Line 5 pipeline in northern Wisconsin.
Line 5 carries up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day from Superior to Sarnia, Ontario.
Enbridge has been exploring alternative routes for Line 5 since the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa filed a lawsuit against the company aimed at shutting down and removing the pipeline from the tribe’s reservation.
Enbridge plans to file a joint application for permits with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC would determine whether the project is in the public interest and whether to grant Enbridge the use of eminent domain to obtain lands for the pipeline’s relocation.
The company’s proposed route runs south of the Bad River reservation and north of Mellen in Ashland County. The pipeline relocation would span roughly 40 miles across Ashland and Iron counties. The company plans to construct a 30-inch diameter pipeline south of the reservation and would employ around 700 workers during peak construction.
Line 5 currently crosses a dozen miles within the tribe’s reservation. The company plans to completely remove the pipeline from tribal lands.
The project would require multiple state and local permits. Enbridge expects environmental review of the project will take about a year to complete.