Michigan wants Line 5 pipeline moved to underground tunnel

click to enlarge In 2013, the National Wildlife Federation sent divers to look at Enbridge, Inc.'s aging straits pipelines, finding wide spans of unsupported structures encrusted with exotic zebra mussels and quagga mussels. - National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation
In 2013, the National Wildlife Federation sent divers to look at Enbridge, Inc.'s aging straits pipelines, finding wide spans of unsupported structures encrusted with exotic zebra mussels and quagga mussels.

Canadian oil giant Enbridge Energy reached an agreement with the state of Michigan today that will see some major upgrades made to its aging, controversial Line 5 pipeline that sits at the bottom of the St. Clair River and the Straits of Mackinac.

Per the agreement, Enbridge will move Line 5 to an underground tunnel under the St. Clair River and will do a study to find ways to eventually move it under the Straits of Mackinac. Additionally, the pipeline will be shut down during adverse weather conditions that could complicate a cleanup effort in the event of a spill.

"Business as usual by Enbridge is not acceptable and we are going to ensure the highest level of environmental safety standards are implemented to protect one of Michigan’s most valuable natural resources," Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. "The items required in this agreement are good strides forward. The state is evaluating the entire span of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline and its future, but we cannot wait for the analyses to be completed before taking action to defend our waterways."
The company is also looking into implementing new safety equipment including cameras and spill detection technology to monitor the pipelines, as well as measures to prevent anchor strikes on the pipeline. The state will participate in all evaluations.

In August, Snyder called for immediate repairs to the 64-year-old pipeline after it was revealed that the company downplayed damage to its enamel coating. Earlier this month, Snyder said he was "no longer satisfied" with Enbridge's operations of the pipeline.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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