According to the company, the line transports an average 540,000 barrels per day between Superior, Ontario and southwestern Ontario. It is a key piece in energy infrastructure that delivers crude oil and natural gas liquids directly to terminals in Michigan.
Opponents point to dozens of previous spillages on Enbridge pipelines, including one in Michigan in 2010 that cost $1.2B to clean up. The environmental review found that Enbridge had spilled approximately 1.4 million gallons oil in the past decade. This is less than one thousandth percent of the oil shipped.
This week, the Department of Natural Resources notified the company that it had violated two sections of state law by waiting more than 15 years to report the leak.
Although safety protocols have helped reduce the frequency of pipeline spillages, DNR still believes that they will continue to occur every year.
Because the project would be replacing an existing pipeline, it would not increase its capacity. The DNR concluded that it would not cause increased greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.
The Madison city council passed a resolution earlier this year opposing the Line 5 route and a recently completed expansion to Enbridges Line 3 Minnesota. This connects to a pipeline which cuts through Dane County.