Last week, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa voted to deny the renewal of an easement of the Enbridge Energy Line 5 on tribal lands near Lake Superior.
Enbridge's oil pipeline crosses 12 miles of reservation land.
Council member Dylan Jennings says the tribe is requesting the decommissioning and removal of the line. Jennings says the easement is not for the entire pipeline, but in areas where the tribe had reaquired lands near the pipeline. Enbridge has leased an easement for the oil line since it's construction in 1953.
He says the age of the line prompted the tribal council to take action after seeing events around the world, and other spills. He says they want to protect the watershed...
"....we're not prepared as far as any line rupturing or any kind of catastrophic damage to our resources or our (Lake Superior) watershed...."
Jennings says this action could be a first...
"....I don't know too many other communities that have tried to push out an existing line. We're pretty new to this process but we just know that anything is on the table and we're prepared for whatever comes our way..."
Enbridge told the Duluth News Tribune they have been negotiating with the tribe since 2013. The Line 5 pipeline carries more than a half-million barrels of oil and other liquids each day.