Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Officials investigate oil contamination in northern Wisconsin

The state Department of Natural Resources is investigating contaminated soil near the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Reservation in far northern Wisconsin

  • 0

MADISON, Wis. — The state Department of Natural Resources is investigating contaminated soil near the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Reservation in far northern Wisconsin.

DNR officials said Enbridge Inc. reported Wednesday that a contractor had encountered soil suspected to be contaminated along the company's Line 5 pipeline south of Ashland about a mile west of the reservation.

Enbridge officials said they couldn't find a leak in the pipeline and believe the contamination was from a past discharge, according to the DNR. Agency staff have visited the site several times and haven't detected any additional petroleum odors or soil staining, department officials said.

Enbridge spokeswoman Juli Kellner said “only a trace amount of product” was found during scheduled system maintenance. She said the line was shut down as a precaution.

Line 5 runs from Superior to Sarnia, Ontario, crossing about 12 miles of the Bad River's reservation. Enbridge is looking to reroute 41 miles of the pipeline south of the reservation after the tribe sued in 2019 to have the section crossing its lands removed.

The DNR is currently finalizing an environmental impact statement for the project. The agency's draft environmental impact statement drew intense criticism from environmental groups, tribal members and activists who argued it didn't adequately evaluate impacts, including the risk of spills.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is requiring churches and missionaries to register with the tribe before entering the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. An evangelist was also banned from entering the reservation for distributing a pamphlet that disparaged traditional Lakota spirituality. The tribal ordinance does not apply to local churches and ministries run by tribal members. It was passed in late July amid concern from some tribal council members over Christian ministries evangelizing on the reservation, working with children as well as a history of abuse against Native Americans by some churches. The tribe’s leadership has insisted it remains open to all religions, but the action showed significant pushback against some Christian missionary groups.

Actor Ezra Miller has been charged with felony burglary in Vermont, the latest in a string of incidents involving the embattled star of “The Flash.” Vermont State Police said in a report Monday that they responded to a burglary complaint in Stamford on May 1. Police found that several bottles of alcohol were taken from a residence while the homeowners weren’t present. Police charged Miller after consulting surveillance footage and interviewing witnesses. Police said they located Miller shortly before midnight on Saturday and issued a citation to appear in Vermont Superior Court on Sept. 26 for arraignment.

Tribes in South Dakota are working with a rural Massachusetts museum to return hundreds of items believed to have been taken from ancestors massacred at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890. It’s a recent example of efforts to repatriate human remains and other items to tribes nationwide. A federal database shows some 870,000 items that should be returned to tribes by law are still in the possession of colleges, museums and other institutions across the country. The holdings include nearly 110,000 human remains. The University of California, Berkeley tops the list, followed closely by the Ohio History Connection.

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has voted to remove a decades-old requirement that members have a minimum of 25% Chippewa blood. Officials say 65% of voters on a referendum question say the blood quantum requirement should be removed from membership in the six-reservation tribe. The referendum is a guide for tribal leaders who will now decide whether to ask voters to amend the tribe’s constitution. The majority of voters say each reservation — Fond du Lac, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, White Earth and Leech Lake — should be allowed to determine its own enrollment requirements.

he Oglala Sioux Tribe is suing the federal government for failing to provide adequate law enforcement on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The lawsuit filed this week against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and some high level officials in the Interior Department alleges the inadequacy has created a “public safety crisis” on the reservation. Tribal officials say Pine Ridge with its 3 million acres of land has just 33 police officers and eight criminal investigators who handled more than 133,700 emergency calls last year. The tribe says the BIA is out of compliance with its standards of having 2.8 officers per 1,000 people. For Pine Ridge, that would require at least 140 tribal officers.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News