Michigan AG Filed Amicus Brief Supporting Bad River Tribe’s Motion to Shut Down Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline

On May 17, 2023, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed an amicus brief supporting a request by the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation for a court order to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. The pipeline—part of which trespasses on the Bad River Reservation, according to a court ruling last year—is at risk of rupturing due to rising water levels and increasing bank erosion of the Bad River, which is located in northern Wisconsin. A rupture would cause oil to spill into the river as well as nearby Lake Superior. AG Nessel’s brief urges the Wisconsin federal court to grant the Band’s emergency motion for injunctive relief and order Enbridge to shutdown Line 5. AG Nessel is also part of an ongoing lawsuit in Michigan to shut down Line 5.

In June 2023, a Wisconsin federal court ruled that Enbridge was in fact trespassing on the Bad River Reservation. AG Nessel released the following statement: “I applaud the Wisconsin Court’s finding that Line 5 is an impermissible trespass on the Bad River Reservation, as well as the Court’s decision to impose a deadline by which that trespass must be abated. In particular, the Court recognized that recent erosion of the banks of the Bad River creates a threat to the integrity of the pipeline. As I noted in a recent amicus brief in that case, a release of oil from the pipeline at that location would cause grave harm to Lake Superior. For these reasons, this decision is a victory for all who share my concern about protecting the Great Lakes and all that they mean to our way of life in Michigan.”