EDITOR: As a local landowner whose property abuts the proposed reroute corridor for Line 5, reviewing Enbridge's permit applications has left me with more questions than answers.
Enbridge has indicated it will need to conduct trenching in bedrock, which could alter existing flows of groundwater. How will this, along with the likely fracturing of bedrock during blasting, impact water levels in my well? Would a spill from the pipeline contaminate my well and make the water undrinkable? If our well (located on the only suitable place we could find on our 20 acres) got contaminated from construction or operation of the pipeline, it would be catastrophic for us.
My family and I are avid outdoorsmen. We hold an annual state parks pass and recreate at Copper Falls State Park year round, swimming, hiking, and skiing. How might a spill from Line 5 impact this pristine and beloved park?
I have fished since I was able to hold a fishing pole and recently taught my 3-yearold son to fish as well. How will this pipeline affect our ability to fish near our home? How will stream crossings impact our world-class, cold-water trout streams? Will fish habitat be altered during construction? How much will the reduced forest cover along these streams required for access to and maintenance of the pipeline affect stream temperature and the cold waters required to maintain native trout populations?
My family sits around our table for a home-cooked meal together every night. It is not unusual that our meals include locally caught fish from inland waters or Lake Superior. Will these fish still be safe to eat, or even available to catch, if there is a spill from the pipeline, as has happened time and again along the existing Line 5?
The reroute path lies barely outside the Bad River Reservation and offers no additional protections to the Bad River watershed or Lake Superior. In spill preparation planning, what measures are being taken to protect the resources that the tribes have a guaranteed treaty right to hunt, fish and gather? How are the tribe's off-reservation treaty rights being considered? How will the pipeline corridor impact access to the lands where they exercise these rights? Are the tribes' traditional cultural resources, cultural sites, and artifacts being sufficiently identified and protected?
Before moving to Wisconsin, I lived in Alaska among its network of pipelines. I've seen the scars they leave on the land and the damage they can do to pristine waters. These are risks I am not willing to take so that a foreign company can profit from transporting oil that will never be used by myself or my neighbors in northwestern Wisconsin.
I hope the DNR and Evers administration will thoroughly evaluate these and numerous other issues that may arise during the construction and operation of Line 5. I am confident that a complete review of this project will demonstrate that the risk is too high and benefits too few to allow the project to proceed.