National Wildlife Federation Successfully Sues for Release of Public Documents on Line 5

Lansing, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) released documents regarding Enbridge’s Energy’s plans for a Line 5 tunnel, after the National Wildlife Federation filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims. The documents, a draft Request for Proposals from Enbridge Energy seeking approval for their Line 5 tunnel, were housed on a private server that prevented public access and transparency. The documents show, among other things, that the earliest start date for building a tunnel would be in 2024. Even this overly optimistic timeline would not have a tunnel operational until 2028 under the best case scenario, which is very unlikely given the delays and missteps so far.

“The Great Lakes belong to all of us — the public should be able to easily access all documents regarding the Line 5 tunnel and pipeline. It should not take a lawsuit to make these documents public and MDOT and all state agencies should avoid using private servers that prevent access,” said Beth Wallace, Great Lakes partnerships manager for the National Wildlife Federation. “When Enbridge first negotiated the lame duck tunnel deal with Governor Snyder, they promised to rapidly build a tunnel. The release of these documents makes clear that Enbridge cannot and will not meet this obligation. We must remove Line 5 from the water – we simply can’t wait for a tunnel that may never be built and will not be built in time to keep the Great Lakes safe for the people and wildlife that depend on them.”


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