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December 3, 2020

Bay Mills Indian Community Calls on Army Corps to Deny Federal Permits

The Army Corps of Engineers is holding an online public hearing for the tunnel project on December 7th

Contacts

Keith Rushing, Earthjustice, (757) 897-2147

Lansing, MI

The Bay Mills Indian Community is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny oil giant Enbridge a permit for dredging wetlands and constructing a tunnel to house an oil pipeline in the Great Lakes.

“The Bay Mills Indian Community is steadfast in its commitment to protecting our water and fisheries and that means fighting to remove Line 5 from the Straits of Mackinac and throughout Michigan,” said Bryan Newland, president of the Bay Mills Indian Community.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding an online public hearing on December 7, 2020 to allow public comments on Enbridge’s permit request for the proposed Line 5 tunnel that would house a new pipeline to replace the existing problem-riddled dual oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, the waterway connecting Lack Michigan and Lake Huron.

The Army Corps has not yet produced an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement and Enbridge has not submitted the information needed for these permit decisions.

“Line 5 has been an ongoing threat to our right to fish, hunt, and gather since it was built in 1953. Gov. Whitmer was 100% right last month to revoke the easement for Line 5, given the company’s horrible safety record and its continued failure to comply with the terms of the easement,” Newland said.

“The invasive construction associated with replacing Line 5 with a tunnel would only cause further damage to waters we depend on, which are also a major source of drinking water for millions. We should not be doubling down on fossil fuel infrastructure when there is a pressing need to develop clean energy to fight climate change.”

Background

  • The Straits of Mackinac is a 4-mile-wide waterway that connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The Great Lakes are the largest source of surface fresh water in the world, supplying drinking water for 48 million people.
  • Enbridge was responsible for the largest inland oil spill in our nation’s history when another one of its pipelines released nearly one million gallons of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
  • ​The Straits of Mackinac is a place of religious and cultural significance to Bay Mills. It is a place where the Tribe and other surrounding communities hunt, fish, and gather.
  • If Enbridge secures the necessary permits to build and reroute the pipeline in the proposed tunnel, the company would be permitted to transport the oil under the Straits of Mackinac for 99 years.

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