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Lawsuit between Michigan and Enbridge stays in federal court

line_5_map.jpg
Enbridge Energy
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Line 5 splits into two, 20-inch pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

U.S. District Judge Judge Janet Neff ruled on the year-old case Tuesday.

A key ruling came Tuesday in a lawsuit between the state of Michigan and Enbridge.

District Judge Janet Neff ruled that the case will stay in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

The state wanted to remand the case back to the Ingham County Circuit Court, where it was filed over a year ago. Michigan filed the lawsuit in an attempt to force shut down Line 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

But Enbridge filed a countersuit, and moved the case to federal court. The Canadian energy company claims Michigan doesn’t have jurisdiction over interstate pipelines.

Judge Neff denied Michigan’s motion to remand. She also granted the Canadian government a chance to file a supplemental brief.

Canada says a 1977 treaty with the U.S. should prevent the shutdown of pipelines that run across the border.

The next hearing date hasn’t been set.

Patrick Shea is a natural resources reporter at Interlochen Public Radio. Before joining IPR, he worked a variety of jobs in conservation, forestry, prescribed fire and trail work. He earned a degree in natural resources from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, and his interest in reporting grew as he studied environmental journalism at the University of Montana's graduate school.