December 27, 2016 by Barbara With
The US Forest Service is accepting public comments until January 6, 2017 regarding the permitting of the portion of Enbridge Energy Partners pipeline Line #5 that runs through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest north of Highway 2 in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. The permit includes 11.5 miles of pipeline and spans roughly 71 acres of public land.
Comments can be submitted by calling, emailing, and writing letters to the Washburn Ranger Station:
CALL: USFS Project Jonathan McNeill (715)762-5154
WRITE: USFS Project Jonathan McNeill
Washburn Ranger District
113 Bayfield St. East
Washburn, WI, 54891
500 Hanson Lake Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Contact the Washburn Forest Service and tell them:
1) Do not renew Enbridge’s permit for Line #5.
2) Require Enbridge to remove Line #5 from USFS land.
3) Request a Public Hearing in Bayfield County regarding the permit before a decision is made by the USFS.
Enbridge Line #5 runs hundreds of miles through Wisconsin, Canada and Michigan, transporting 23 million gallons of light crude and liquid natural gas each day. At 63 years old, it sits underneath the Straits of Mackinac coated in layers of invasive zebra mussels and is subject to the random currents of the Great Lakes. Environmentalists say a spill would devastate economy of all five Great Lakes.
Bad River Reservation: Enbridge has been operating with an expired permit for the portion of Line #5 that runs through the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation. Not only did the pipeline’s permit expired in 2013, Line #5 was built in 1953 and is 13 years beyond its 50-year life expectancy. The line carries 540,000 barrels of Alberta Tar Sands oil each day and poses an extreme risk to the Penokee and Ashland County watershed.
Straits of Mackinac, Michigan: In April 2016, 22 environmental and tribal groups formally requested that Michigan Govenor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette shut down Line #5 in the Straits of Mackinac based on Enbridge’s multiple easement violations. On January 1, 2017 beginning at 12 AM, there will be 24-hour prayer vigil at the 100-year high water mark near the Mackinaw Bridge between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
Kalamazoo, MI: July 2016 marked the five-year anniversary of the Kalamazoo spill from Enbridge Line #6B, which sent 843,000 gallons of crude tar sands oil into the tributary of the Kalamazoo River. In the video below, John Bolenbaugh blows the whistle on Enbridge, documenting their cover up of the spill. His investigation was reported by a Michigan news station, which forced Enbridge to continue their clean up, which they claimed they had already completed. Bolenbaugh was a former employee for an oil spill clean-up company that contracted with Enbridge.