Governor Whitmer Revokes and Terminates Easement for Line 5 Oil Pipeline in Northern Michigan
Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Dan Eichinger notified Enbridge that it will revoke and terminate the 1953 easement allowing the oil giant to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products. This decision comes after years of advocacy and litigation from local tribes and communities that have depended on the Straits for their livelihood.
“We are thrilled and thankful for Governor Whitmer's decision to revoke the easement for Enbridge’s pipeline to run beneath the Straits”, said President Bryan Newland of the Bay Mills Indian Community. “Enbridge has consistently shown that it only cares about its profits and not about the communities of the Great Lakes. This is a monumental first step in rectifying the harm that the company has already inflicted upon Bay Mills and other tribal nations for decades.”
Background from the Governor’s Office:
Today’s action to revoke and terminate the 1953 easement is the culmination of a careful review of Enbridge’s compliance with the easement, the threats posed by the continued operation of the dual pipelines, and the state’s energy supply. On June 7, 2019, the governor issued Executive Order 2019-14, creating the UP Energy Task Force to assess the region’s energy needs and alternative sources of supply. The Task Force issued a report on April 17, 2020. Moreover, on June 27, 2019, the governor directed the DNR to undertake a comprehensive review of Enbridge’s compliance with the 1953 easement. That review is now complete and supports this action.
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.