Enbridge rejects state order to shut down line 5 oil pipeline

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This June 2020 photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. Enbridge who provided the photos to the state of Michigan, last week said an anchor support on the east leg of the pipeline, right, had shifted. A Michigan regulatory panel refused Tuesday, June 30, 2020, to grant quick permission to run a new oil pipeline beneath a channel that connects two of the Great Lakes, deciding instead to conduct a full review. Enbridge filed an application in April with the Michigan Public Service Commission to relocate a segment of its Line 5 that extends beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which links Lakes Huron and Michigan. (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Today Line 5 oil pipeline owner Enbridge officially rejected Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) demand, that the company shut the pipeline down.

The governor and DNR Director Dan Eichinger notified Enbridge on November 13 that the 1953 easement allowing it to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products is being revoked and terminated. 

They also filed a lawsuit asking the Ingham County Circuit Court to recognize the validity of this action. The state said it was revoking the easement for violation of the public trust doctrine, given the unreasonable risk that continued operation of the dual pipelines poses to the Great Lakes.

Today Enbridge rejected the state’s notice, saying the action is unlawful.

“Our dual lines in the Straits are safe and in full compliance with the federal pipeline safety standards that govern them. The Notice ignores scientific evidence and is based on inaccurate and outdated information,” said Vern Yu, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines. “In the meantime, the dual pipelines will continue to operate safely until they are replaced on completion of the Tunnel Project,”

You can view the full rejection letter sent by Enbridge to the State of Michigan here.

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