Environment & Energy Report

Enbridge Oil Pipeline Plans Scrutinized by Sixth Circuit Judges

April 9, 2020, 7:43 PM

A panel of federal judges appeared reluctant Thursday to force an environmental review of oil spill response plans for Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 pipeline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard virtual oral arguments in a long-running dispute over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s approval of oil spill plans for the project, which crosses Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac.

The key legal question is whether PHMSA’s approval process triggers review requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. The issue is part of a broader debate over how closely federal officials should oversee...

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