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Enbridge reveals proposed Line 5 re-route

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ASHLAND, WI-- Enbridge's Line 5 crude oil pipeline has been operating in Northern Wisconsin for decades.

But last July, the Bad River Band filed a lawsuit to re-route the pipeline around its reservation.

After months of research, Tuesday night Enbridge revealed a proposes re-route of Line 5.

"The proposed route that we show here in the red line we feel with our consultation, with landowners, communities, regulators that we will be able to minimize impacts to the environment," said Jennifer Smith, Manager of Community Engagement for Enbridge.

The new route would loop south of the Bad River Band Reservation and instead, pass through the city of Mellen.

"We are in the process of buying a parcel of land from the city of Mellen which is just south of Copper Falls State Park. So the route we are proposing would go north of the city of Mellen but south of the park and that parcel is right in between there," Smith said.

But some who live in the region, like Ros Nelson, oppose the pipeline altogether.

"If Line 5 stays here it will leak. When it leaks the economy of this area will be over. It will be done," Nelson said.

Naysayers like Nelson say alternate forms of energy should be used in the region instead.

"Sun would be one, conservation, there are many things being developed globally," Nelson said.

Still, Enbridge is moving forward with the permitting process to help re-route the pipeline.

"So far we have submitted an application to U.S. Army Engineers and Wisconsin DNR. Wisconsin DNR will be the primary state permitting agency for this project," Smith said.

Enbridge does not have a date of when the project could start.

They believe the permitting and regulatory process will take around a year.

John Cardinale

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