Line 5 Reroute In Northern Wisconsin Sows Division Among Some Communities

Line 5 Reroute In Northern Wisconsin Sows Division Among Some Communities
February 6, 2020 Wisconsin Public Radio

By Danielle Kaeding, Wisconsin Public Radio

The land where Jan Penn and her husband Rick made their home in far northern Wisconsin checked a lot of the boxes when they bought it more than 40 years ago.

The wooded lot in the Ashland County town of Highbridge has sandy soil that’s easier to work with while growing a garden and frost generally hits a bit later with its proximity to Lake Superior. The two have built a life, raised their daughter, and cared for their horses and chickens on the 40-acre parcel. In December, they paid off the mortgage on their home and hoped to one day pass the land on to family.

“What this land has given us is beyond description,” she said. “It’s something deep in the soul that you experience.”

But, she fears their property may be part of plans by Canadian energy firm Enbridge to reroute its Line 5 pipeline.

Enbridge has been exploring alternative routes 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. The line carries up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day from Superior to Sarnia, Ontario.

As Enbridge explores possible routes, the pipeline has created division among neighbors and communities over the path it may take. And, federal and state regulators have no authority to weigh in on the siting of the proposed line.

Read the rest of Wisconsin Public Radio’s piece here.

This article is partially republished on Great Lakes Now with permission from Wisconsin Public Radio.

Featured image: Jan Penn of Highbridge stands next to Billy Creek, which runs across her 40-acre property in Ashland County. The land is part of property Canadian energy firm Enbridge hoped to explore as part of plans to potentially reroute its Line 5 pipeline south of the Bad River reservation. The tribe filed a lawsuit against the company in July aimed at shutting down and removing the pipeline across its reservation. (Danielle Kaeding/WPR)


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