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WIN! Wisconsin rejects permit for oil loading dock on Lake Superior

The Duluth News Tribune reports, “The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has, at least for now, turned down a permit application to make repairs to a Superior harbor pier that is parts of plans for a possible oil terminal. Superior-based Elkhorn Industries wants to rehabilitate the harborfront pier to make it ready for Calumet Specialty Products to build a tanker-loading facility to fill boats and barges with crude oil to be shipped across the Great Lakes to eastern oil refineries.”

On December 6, Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui wrote the Wisconsin Ministry of Natural Resources to ask them to stop a proposed dock project that would allow for the construction of an oil terminal and the eventual transportation of crude oil on the Great Lakes.

Lui said in her letter, “We ask you to carefully examine this project in its entirety and the threats that it poses to the Great Lakes. We urge you to stop this dock repair project and shut down the broader oil terminal and shipment project in order to protect the Great Lakes and other shared waterways.” And she raised a number of concerns, including the increase in tar sands crude being transported to and across the Lakes, the potential for oil spills, and the need to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior and other communities.”

The article highlights, “A Dec. 23 DNR letter says public comments played a role in its decision, noting the agency ‘will need significantly more information about the plans and activities proposed for the site’.”

“The DNR dismissed the application ‘without prejudice’ meaning Elkhorn may re-apply for the permit under conditions set by the DNR. …Kollin Schade, head of Calumet’s Superior refinery operations, said it’s his understanding that Elkhorn will resubmit the application.”

Further reading
Backgrounder on Calumet’s plan to ship oil on the Great Lakes
Council of Canadians opposes Calumet-Elkhorn plan to ship oil on the Great Lakes
Oil shipments on the Great Lakes, now and to come
Dec. 26 decision expected on Elkhorn dock proposal