MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public review and comment on a draft environmental impact statement for a proposed pipeline relocation project in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron counties.

Enbridge has applied for waterway and wetland crossing permits and a construction site erosion control permit from the DNR to relocate its Line 5 pipeline. The purpose of the environmental impact statement is to inform decision makers and the public about the proposed project, alternatives and the associated environmental and socio-economic impacts.

The DNR will host a virtual public hearing regarding the environmental impact statement on Feb. 2, 2022. Details for the public hearing will be made available following the New Year.

Members of the public also have the opportunity to submit written comments on the draft environmental impact statement through March 4, 2022.

Enbridge proposes constructing approximately 41 miles of a new 30-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline to relocate its existing Line 5 pipeline outside of tribal lands of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The company would also abandon approximately 20 miles of the existing 30-inch-diameter Line 5 Pipeline, including the section that currently crosses the Bad River Reservation.

In compliance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act, the DNR and its consultants have completed a detailed analysis of the proposed project, various alternatives and the associated impacts.

Construction of the proposed relocation would affect approximately 135 acres of wetland, including the conversion of approximately 34 acres of wooded wetland to non-wooded wetland, and permanent fill of less than 0.03 acres of wetland.

The proposed route would cross approximately 185 waterways, including the Bad River, Brunsweiler River, Marengo River, Tyler Forks, and the White River, as well as a number of unnamed ditches, streams and tributaries.

Some waterways would be temporarily bridged for vehicle access and some would have the new pipeline installed via open-cut trenching or dredging. Additional impacts associated with the project are detailed in the draft environmental impact statement available on the DNR website.

The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Enbridge pipeline relocation project. All electronic and hardcopy comments must be submitted or postmarked no later than Friday, March 4, 2022. Please submit comments to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Line 5 EIS Comments (EA/7)
101 South Webster St.
Madison, WI 53707
Email: [email protected] 

The DNR will consider all public comments received and will prepare a final environmental impact statement prior to making any permit decisions.

More information on the proposed project, permit application and draft environmental impact statement are available here.

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