Great Lakes Sturgeons Vs. Enbridge Oilers: Game Day Report Back


On Monday, March 13th more than 250 people from the Great Lakes Basin convened in Lansing, Mi to support the Great Lakes and demand the shut down of Enbridge Line 5. Enbridge presented information about the anti-corrosive coating that is missing in 18 segments of the twin pipes in the Straits of Mackinaw- this information defined the day.

Prior to the meeting, the Great Lakes Sturgeons Cheer Team and Color Guard held a pep rally in support of the Great Lakes as they endure these games being played by Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder. Sturgeons fans rallied with chants, cheers, and a special appearance by the Sturgeon General. A game day program was distributed, feel free to access it here- sturgeon v oilers(1)

Enbridge Oilers mascot Charlie “The Oil” Sheen was not present, but offers these words:

“I’m an Oilers fan, man- show me some love! I poisoned the rivers and I killed the dove! If we can kill all existence, there can be no more resistance!”

The pep rally became excited and further energized when it saw the arrival of a full charter bus and two large vans organized by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa.

Photo Credit: Valerie Jean

It was a sold out game with standing room only when The Great Lakes Sturgeons went head to head against rival Enbridge Oilers at the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) meeting. During the Oilers presentation, aggressive heckling ensued. Oilers forward Kurt Barenieki could be seen physically shaking while giving Enbridge’s presentation. Kurt was continuously heckled, called out, and fact checked during his presentation. “Remember the Kalamazoo” “Shut Down Line 5” and other lines echoed off of the picture frames containing images of the Great Lakes in the meeting room.

Score: Sturgeons- 1 Oilers- 0.

During this play, a flag was thrown by the board’s co-chair Valerie Brader. The rowdy crowd was shooshed by state officials and fellow attendees alike. This power play gave Barenieki his platform and he was able to finish his presentation. After more heckling and questions from the board, Barenieki headed back to the bench.

Score: Sturgeons- 1  Oilers- 1.

Fred Harrington and his Grandson prepare to address the board.

The public comment period was extended for an extra hour due to the high volume of “public participants”. In all, 260 public comments were submitted on site along with more than two hours of verbal comments- during which Sturgeon fans became rowdier when a man and his grandson showed the officials what an oil spill would look like. The PSAB had only scheduled 30 minutes for public participation, but due to pressure before and during the meeting, conceded to running the meeting late. The meeting ended as rowdy as it began, resulting in  Enbridge Oilers representatives and Public Relations unable to conduct interviews with the press as they were “escorted out of the back door by security”.

Final Score: Sturgeons-2 Oilers- 1

The Sturgeons had a great victory today, but the Oilers domination continues. The 64 year old pipeline could burst any day due to a combination of corrosion, strong currents in the Straits, and general negligence on Enbridge’s behalf.

Although the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board has no authority to shut down Line 5, and is very much a stall and delay strategy in the games being played by Rick Snyder and Bill Schuette, these meetings expose Enbridge’s enormous threat to the ecology of the Great Lakes. Enbridge will be met with die hard Sturgeon fans at the next board meeting this June when the PSAB is expected to give it’s opinion of Line 5. In the mean time, Bill Schuette and Rick Snyder can expect to hear from Sturgeon fans as they try to recruit the state officials as enforcers. If this recruitment campaign fails- the two power brokers, along with Enbridge, will be in for a long hot summer.



Calling all Earth First!ers, Land Defenders and Earth Loving Rebels Join us for the 2017 Earth First! Winter Rendezvous – February 10-14th


From: Hudson Valley Earth First!
Mohicanituck or the “River that flows two ways” Watershed
so-called New York – Lenape/mahican Territory
February 10th – 14th

All over the world, battles are raging to defend the earth and its
inhabitants. Despite the insatiable appetite of industrial
civilization and it’s propensity to degrade, destroy and domesticate,
we still see bold resistance and wild resiliency. Here on Turtle
Island: the forces of colonization continue to displace and denigrate
the land and water, under the guise of progress, economic prosperity
and comfort. The ecosystems we are part of are under attack and
self-defense for our communities is the only option.

Hudson Valley Earth First! is thrilled to host this year’s Earth
First! Winter Rendezvous in the Catskill Mountains of the Hudson
River Watershed for a week of workshops, music, hiking , fire, howling  at the moon         and, of course, effective direct action. We have reserved heated cabins and other indoor space to engage in important movement discussions and provide a space to plug into existing campaigns and projects in our bioregion.

Pipelines, power plants, bomb trains and a whole slew of other
development projects are either currently under construction or in the
proposal and permitting phases. Despite a de facto ban on fracking in
NY, oil and gas infrastructure continue to invade our communities.
We are excited to bring an uncompromising Earth First! presence to a
region that has never hosted a Rondy before. We aim to craft this
year’s Winter OC and Rendezvous into both a meaningful opportunity to
connect activists and environmental campaigns from across the country,
and a resounding gesture of solidarity with all those resisting the
spread and effects of industrial society.


We are encouraging folks to pre-register to camp to reserve space in
one of the cabins/’hotel’ rooms, to  better accommodate folk’s needs,
as well as provide us with an estimate number of attendance. If you
are able, please donate prior to camp to help offset our costs for hosting
the event. Warm and comfy cabins, and the amazing kitchen you will be served
out of unfortunately do not come for free. We ask for a donation of least
$5 per person per day, and more if you can swing it! However, no one will be
away for lack of funds. Please donate at the link below….

Donate here:

Send us an RSVP e-mail with answers to the following:
–    When you are coming & how long you plan to stay
–    If you want to stay in a TWAC or MAD cabin
–    Housing needs relating to sobriety, a quiet or less quiet preference
–    Food allergies or dietary preferences
–    Any other needs, questions or concerns you may have


The closest airports are Albany NY, Stewart Airport and any NYC airports
There is a bus from the Albany Airport and from Penn Station NYC to
the town of Big Indian, NY close to where the WR will be held. A bus into
Phoenecia, NY would also work, just a few minutes further. We can
provide any pick-ups from bus stop as needed, just let us know.

In terms of arrival time, the Winter rendezvous begin the afternoon of  Friday the      10th, so make plans accordingly.

Any questions please e-mail us.

Please Consider:

The Winter Rendezvous is an event open to all (except cops and law
enforcement, of course), so please leave oppressive, elitist and
disruptive attitudes at home. Elitist or oppressive behavior will not
be tolerated. Our goal is a week of celebration, learning and sharing
of ideas that is open to all, from rural landowners, to townies, to
environmental activists of all stripes. Remember the saying: talk to
someone you don’t know – let’s help our movement grow! As always,
there will be spaces for alcohol and partying, and there will be
spaces conducive to sobriety and quietude. It is expected that these
spaces and policies will be respected. In short, don’t be a jerk!
There will also be a safe space for child-care, and we could use help
creating and maintaining it. There will be on-site medics with
emergency medical training and herbal medicine knowledge, as well as
spaces to go for health and healing. If you have any particular skills
that would help with any of these things, contact us.

There will be folks working security/welcome throughout the gathering
to keep any unwelcome people out of the gathering and welcome folks
into camp. As is usual, we will be constantly signing up volunteers to
help with camp security, childcare, conflict mediation, and other
tasks to keep the camp functioning.

Contact us for more info, or if you are interested in volunteering,
presenting workshops or trainings, etc:

hudsonvalleyearthfirst (at)

No compromise!

Enbridge May Face Tough Legal Battle to Keep 60-year-old Pipeline Running

Enbridge Inc may be set for a bruising legal battle in Wisconsin after a Native American tribe voted against renewing land use agreements on a major crude oil pipeline, potentially shutting down a conduit that has been in operation since the 1950s, legal experts said.

The vote last week has ratcheted up tension on Enbridge, which already faces questions about the safety of the line elsewhere in the U.S. Midwest.

The decision also opened a new avenue of opposition to North American energy infrastructure, as it was a notable use of tribal authority to move against an existing pipeline. Activists have mostly concentrated on halting new pipeline construction across the United States and Canada, most notably the Standing Rock Sioux’s fight against the Dakota Access line in North Dakota.

The Bad River Band decided that Enbridge should no longer be allowed to operate the Line 5 pipeline across its reservation, and is calling for the 64-year-old conduit to be removed because of concerns about potential oil spills.

Line 5 is a vital part of Enbridge’s Mainline system, which transports the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States. The line originates in Superior, Wisconsin, and ends in Sarnia, Ontario.

The 540,000 barrel-per-day pipeline is still flowing. Spokesman Michael Barnes said Calgary-based Enbridge is reaching out to the band to restart negotiations while also evaluating its long-term strategy.

But legal experts said that if negotiations fail, Enbridge is unlikely to be able to have state or federal authorities force the band to allow Line 5 to operate, a process known as condemnation, if it is on tribal lands.

“There’s not much you can do because tribes are sovereign; you cannot exercise the power to condemn,” said James Freeman, a partner with law firm Zabel Freeman in Houston.

Pipeline companies and public utilities can usually take advantage of eminent domain laws that grant them the right to build projects on land that is not theirs for the greater public good. They also reach easement agreements, allowing the pipeline company the legal right to use property owned by another party for a special purpose.

Much may depend on whether the tracts in question are on tribal land or on land allotted to individual tribe members, in which case condemnation might be viable, said Jim Bowe, a partner with King & Spalding law firm in Washington, D.C.

“Enbridge has got a real challenge here,” Bowe added. “If it’s out of easements, the pipeline is a trespasser.”

Bowe said the Bad River Band could file a lawsuit to try to have Line 5 removed or seek an injunction to force the pipeline to stop operating.

Dylan Jennings, a Bad River tribal council member, said the tribe was developing a plan of action with its legal staff and would go to court if necessary.

“We are not convinced that a 64-year-old pipeline is structurally sound enough to last even another few years and we are not prepared to leave that behind for another generation,” Jennings said. “No amount of compensation or negotiation will change our minds.”

The line has not leaked since it was built in 1953, according to Enbridge’s website. But the tribe’s concerns about the age of Line 5 echoed worries in Michigan, where in 2015 Governor Rick Snyder established a pipeline safety advisory board to address concerns that Line 5’s underwater crossing in the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, could leak.

That followed a 2010 leak of 20,000 barrels of crude into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan from Enbridge’s Line 6B, the largest onshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Michigan has ordered two independent reports, which Enbridge is contributing to the cost of, to examine the reliability of Line 5 and alternatives to the pipeline. Those reports are expected to be finished by June.

A 2015 report produced by the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline task force criticized Enbridge for lack of disclosure related to its inspections of the pipeline.

(Additional reporting Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)


Enbridge Oil Spill- Public Comment

Below is a write up you can copy and past into an email to submit a public comment about the NFA request for  a site of environmental contamination located on Talmadge Creek between I-69 and A Drive North, south of Marshall, Michigan. Contamination at the site was caused by the release of crude oil from the Enbridge Line 6B pipeline rupture on July 26, 2010. Crude Oil, contaminated soil, and impacted surface water were removed from the site during remedial activities.

Please send your email/ comment to  TODAY (12/12/2016). Don’t forget to sign with a name! If you are seeing this after the 12th, feel free to send it anyways. Demand that the NFA requests are visible to the public!

For information about what an NFA request is- CLICK HERE


Chris Lantinga and MDEQ,

I am writing to you today to enter a few comments about Enbridge’s NFA request for Segment 4, located on the Talmadge Creek.

I am concerned that there was no publicized public informational session for this NFA request. There were public meetings for the NFA requests regarding Segment 1 and segment 3. The public meeting for Segment 3 took place prior to the date public comment was due. The public meeting for Segment 1 took place on the same day public comment was due. There seems to have been no public meeting for segment 4. The public meetings are crucial to any claims to transparency on the Department’s behalf, and important for the public to understand the remedial work that was done on the river.

I have become aware that this NFA comment period was not published in the Nov. 28, 2016 DEQ Calendar. The lack of a public meeting as well as the absence of the public comment period in the November 28, 2016 DEQ calendar is of great concern to any legitimate claims of this process being transparent.

I could not help but notice the Groundwater Aesthetic Impact section of the NFA request. Enbridge, in section 3.5 of the request, claims that there have been sightings of oil sheens in the ground water. Not only that, they go on to state that these sightings have occurred in “several areas”. Apparently Part 201 of Section 451 does not address any criteria for ground water aesthetics. The state law being used has no means to address this situation! Enbridge claims that the Groundwater Aesthetic Impact meets Drinking Water Criteria. According to Enbridge in this same request, none of the residents use groundwater as a drinking source. The lack of attention to these oil sheens is very concerning.

The Zoning/ Land Use for this NFA request was determined from the Marshall Township Zoning Map (dated October 2006). Is there not a more recent zoning map that could be used? Has the land use in this area changed in the past 10 years?

The lack of visibility to this process is very frustrating. Please make this information more accessible to the public.




Send to:

Observed Contaminates From 2010 Oil Spill Not Subject to Michigan State Law

Updates on the 2010 oil spill are coming out with each No Further Action request Enbridge Energy submits to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.


This is in the NFA request for segment 4 of the Talmadge Creek. Although this is a perfectly legal move on Enbridge’s behalf we need to recognize that things like this exist. The observations are not actionable concerns because Groundwater Aesthetic Impacts are not in Part 201 of NREPA.

Legal maneuvering does not erase signs of contaminates left behind at several locations.


According to Enbridge, residents in the area do not drink the groundwater.  This is located between I-69 and A Drive North along the creek, north of Tau Rd.

Read full NFA law here-

Read full NFA request for Segment 4 here-



Written comments are being accepted on an Intent to Approve an unrestricted residential No Further Action (NFA) Report for the Enbridge Oil Spill – Talmadge Creek, Segment 4 (Mile Post 1.00 to Mile Post 2.02) a site of environmental contamination located on Talmadge Creek between I-69 and A Drive North, south of Marshall, Michigan. Contamination at the site was caused by the release of crude oil from the Enbridge Line 6B pipeline rupture on July 26, 2010. Crude Oil, contaminated soil, and impacted surface water were removed from the site during remedial activities. Subsequent soil, sediment, and surface water remedial investigations indicate exceedances of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), Part 201 residential criteria do not remain. The proposed unrestricted NFA would not prohibit residential use of the property. The NFA Report is available for review at the Marshall District Library, 124 W. Green Street, Marshall, MI 49068, the Galesburg Memorial Library, 188 E. Michigan Avenue, Galesburg, MI 49053, and the Willard Library, 7 W. Van Buren Street, Battle Creek, MI 49017. A copy will also be available for review during normal business hours at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Kalamazoo District Office, 7953 Adobe Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009. Written comments should be mailed by December 12, 2016 to Chris Lantinga, DEQ, Remediation and Redevelopment Division, 7953 Adobe Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan49009. Information Contact: Chris Lantinga, Remediation and Redevelopment Division; 269 548-7182; email at