Report: Michigan shorelines at potential risk due to pipeline


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WLNS)- A  new report suggests that hundreds of miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are at risk of contamination if pipelines under the Straits of Michigan rupture.

The University of Michigan’s Water Center released the report. It’s based on 840 computer simulations of possible spills from Line 5, twin pipeline that cross the strait which connects Michigan Upper and Lower Peninsula.

The study was directed by hydrodynamics expert David Schwab. He says that if these were to leak, 740 miles of Michigan and Canadian shoreline, including Mackinac Island, are considered potentially vulnerable.

Even though Enbridge, the Canadian company that owns them, says the pipelines remain in good shape and have never leaked, environmentalists want them removed.

According to, a environmental group which states their goal is to keep oil pipelines out of the Great Lakes, have released a 5-part publication over-viewing their concerns about Line 5.

However, Enbridge maintains that oil from Line 5 heats 85 percent of homes in the Upper Peninsula, employs 250 people and has been safe for 6 decades.

This issue has caught the attention of Senator Rick Jones, who said that he wants to have “a third party check that pipeline and if it’s defined as not safe by EPA standards, federal standards, I want it shut down.  We should never again put oil under the Great Lakes.  It makes no sense at all.”

Senator Jones is expected to introduce legislation for the third party inspection of Line 5.

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