Today an administrative law judge granted Bay Mills Indian Community the right to intervene in the ongoing pipeline fight uniting Tribes, environmental groups and community members against oil giant Enbridge. The decision will allow Bay Mills to be a party in the contested case process evaluating Enbridge’s Michigan Public Service Commission’s permit application. This is the first time that a Tribal Nation has intervened in a proceeding before the Michigan Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission will determine whether Enbridge will get its wish to build a massive tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, to house a new segment of its Line 5 pipeline. The Straits of Mackinac is a place of religious and cultural significance to Bay Mills, in addition to being an important freshwater and fisheries resource.
“Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline puts our treaty rights and our way of life at risk every single day,” said Chairman Bryan Newland from the Bay Mills Indian Community. “We are going to continue to fight to protect our rights, our waters, and our way of life.”
“We will not sit back and allow an oil giant to strong-arm its way into building this massive tunnel project,” said Christopher Clark attorney at Earthjustice. “The Bay Mills Indian Community has Treaty rights and we intend to make sure that Enbridge knows that.”