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Sierra Club sues for impact study of Enbridge pipeline

David Johnson

The Sierra Club is suing the federal government to get an order for an environmental risk study of an oil pipeline that runs through some sensitive areas.

The Sierra Club is disputing a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to allow Enbridge Energy to continue pumping oil through the 1,100-mile line that connects Minnesota to Ontario through Michigan and Wisconsin. 

The Enbridge Energy line runs across the Upper Peninsula, under the Straits of Mackinac, and through the Lower Peninsula to Sarnia-Ontario.

“This pipeline was built in 1963, which is more than 60 years ago. There has never been any environmental study done by any agency, federal or state, on any portion of the   line,” said Marvin Roberson of the Sierra Club. “We ought to know whether the thing is structurally sound. We ought to know what the potential effects of a leak are.”

The line runs through the Huron-Manistee National Forest, which is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit is required. The lawsuit was filed in the federal district court in Bay City. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.