Conservancy groups say North Dakota pipeline halt could be good news for Line 5

DSC_1301 (1)Reaction is coming around Michigan to Sunday’s move by the US Army Corps of Engineers to refuse a final easement and essentially halt the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

Water conservancy groups in Michigan say the decision to halt the Dakota Access oil pipeline could have major consequences by setting a precedent for acknowledging treaty rights.

Liz Kirkwood is the executive director of For the Love of Water, a conservancy group based in Traverse City. She said Standing Rock is a victory for water rights.

“Standing rock is an incredible victory that should be celebrated by everyone. It is a recognition of the need to recognize and honor sovereign tribal rights and also the importance of protecting our waters.”

Kirkwood said she hopes the decision could impact the future of the Line 5 pipeline under the straits of Mackinac. The 60 year old pipeline has become a huge concern for conservancy groups in the state, with many calling for its shutdown.

Michael Barnes is with Enbridge Energy. He said he doesn’t see a correlation between Line 5 and the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

“They’re two totally different pipelines and two totally different sets of circumstances.”

Two independent studies are looking into the risks the pipeline poses and alternative routes.