Judge grants motion by state of Michigan to appeal key decision in Line 5 dispute

WASHINGTON — The U.S. judge presiding over Michigan's bid to shut down the Line 5 pipeline has agreed to let the state appeal a key ruling even though the case remains unresolved.

District Court Judge Janet Neff has granted a motion from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, clearing the way for what's known as an interlocutory appeal.

Nessel is challenging the August 2022 decision by Neff to keep the case in federal court, a critical blow to Michigan's effort to shut down the cross-border pipeline.

Neff says she's allowing the appeal because it involves an important and disputed question of law and that its outcome could expedite a resolution to the case.

She has also ordered that the current case remain stayed and administratively closed until the appeal is resolved.

Michigan wants the Enbridge Inc. pipeline shut down permanently for fear of an ecological disaster in the Straits of Mackinac, where it crosses the Great Lakes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press