Amazing Turnout for Line 5 Wisconsin DNR Hearing

Next to a pipeline shaped like a snake, text reads: Stop the oil, protect the water, save the wetlands, defend treaty rights, shut down Line 5

At the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) July 1st hearing for the wetlands and waterways permit and the Environmental Impact Statement scoping, activists exceeded the DNR’s Zoom limit of 300. Those not testifying were pushed to watch the live feed (you can still watch the recording here), and the DNR estimates that more than 500 tuned in. Of the 79 people who testified, 92.4% called for Line 5 to be shut down and the DNR to deny the wetlands and waterways permit.

The testimony we heard was thoughtful, powerful, and passionate. Here are just a few of the many eloquent points made by 73 people from Wisconsin and beyond who testified:

  • “The [Bad River] Band has reasonably concluded that the risk is too high, but the move doesn't mitigate the risk they are trying to avoid. The DNR should exercise the same common sense Bad River Band did.”

  • “Climate change has already brought us flooding, heat waves, drought, and diseases. It is irresponsible to support a pipeline at this time, given what we know about climate change.”

  • “You're putting resources at risk that are not yours to put at risk.”

  • “At this time, it would be ludicrous to grant a pipeline now. There is growing awareness of climate change. The Ojibwe people are threatened by this and they carry a language and culture that is unique. The world could lose them forever.”

  • “It would only take one spill to undermine the Bad River Watershed for decades. This is a time when we need to be prioritizing the needs of Black and Indigenous people. It's unconscionable to allow this pipeline to go forward.”

  • “I'm 18 years old, but I'm here because this pipeline breaks my heart and threatens my future.”

None of this would have happened without our amazing team of volunteers who called more than 720 people, texted more than 8,000 and created an incredible partner packet filled with amazing social media graphics in just a few short weeks!

Here are some great media hits if you’d like to read more:

In other good news, the Ashland County Board passed two resolutions in opposition of the pipeline. One, in opposition to granting the Water permit passed 16-4 and the other, in opposition to giving Enbridge eminent domain authority passed 19-1. Let’s continue this momentum! As the hearing showed: the DNR needs to deny Enbridge’s wetlands and waterways permit, and shut down Line 5.