Ruling Council of the X Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

A Native American tribe in Michigan wants to block a $172 million settlement Enbridge reached earlier this year tied to two oil spills.

According to InsideClimateNews, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians are objecting to a settlement Enbridge reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.

The EPA said in July that Enbridge will pay $62 million for Clean Water Act violations to settle claims related to two separate 2010 pipeline spills.

The settlement, reached between the EPA, U.S. Department of Justice and several related Enbridge companies, will resolve claims stemming from 2010 oil spills in Marshall, Michigan and Romeoville, Illinois.

Enbridge has also agreed to spend at least $110 million more on a series of measures to prevent spills and improve operations across nearly 2,000 miles of its pipeline system in the Great Lakes region.

While the releases occurred at the Line 6A and Line 6B pipelines the settlement also calls for Enbridge to conduct safety upgrades on Line 5, according to InsideClimateNews.

Line 5 travels under the Straits of Mackinac where the tribe was was granted off-reservation fishing rights through the 1836 Treaty of Washington.

In a letter of objection filed with the a U.S. District Court in western Michigan, the tribe said its concerned that the settlement could prevent it from litigating Clean Water Act or other potential claims against Enbridge tied a future failure at Line 5.

The tribe has requested that the public commentary period for the settlement be re-opened and that the EPA and DOJ consults with the tribe prior to the settlement being finalized.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice told InsideClimateNews that the department is reviewing the objection.


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