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Michigan’s year-long study of Line 5 alternatives has been released. Now is the time to submit your comment calling for the only way to truly protect the Great Lakes from an oil spill: decommission the Enbridge Line 5 pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac.

Protect the Great Lakes from a Catastrophic Oil Spill

Deadline for comments is August 4, so please submit yours today via this online form in support of protecting the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill.

To the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Agency for Energy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Office of the Attorney General:

I am writing to submit my official comment in response to the State of Michigan’s Line 5 alternatives analysis. This report was expressly commissioned for the overall purpose of “providing the State, Enbridge and the public with information that can be used to help guide decisions for the future of [Line 5 in the Straits].”

I am deeply disappointed in this analysis and this process riddled with conflict of interest. It lacks credibility because Dynamic Risk, a firm with ties to Enbridge, is its author. Even worse, it absurdly underestimates the impact of a spill and ignores a viable alternative to Line 5 – use of existing infrastructure. An expert review in December 2015 by advisors to a Great Lakes policy organization documented the practicality of this alternative.

Decommissioning Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac is the only alternative that will prevent an oil spill with catastrophic consequences for the Great Lakes and the State of Michigan. It is time for the state to stop delaying action with flawed studies, exercise its legal duty as public trustee, and shut down Line 5. The state should use that authority through enforcement of its easement, an agreement that Enbridge has consistently violated. 

Specifically, the draft report on alternatives to Line 5 in the Mackinac Straits:

  1. Fails to follow the recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report and should be withdrawn.
  2. Neglects to provide the state with an independent, fair analysis of the alternatives to Line 5. This report is clearly biased toward allowing Line 5 to continue to operate and/or allowing Enbridge to build new oil infrastructure and further expand its operations. That bias grows out of past, and potentially future, business relationships between Enbridge and the report’s authors. Clearly, the authors are not “wholly independent from any influence by Enbridge,” a standard for establishing credibility in the report’s findings that is outlined in the Task Force Report.
  3. Ignores using existing pipeline infrastructure as an alternative to Line 5 in the Straits, which was one of the alternatives the state required Dynamic Risk to analyze, and leaving it out is in conflict with Task Force recommendation 3 (b). It is unacceptable that the contractor eliminated this alternative in the early stages of analysis, and this must be remedied in the final report.
  4. Does not provide a worst-case scenario spill and cost analysis, which was one of the main objectives of this report and was specifically required by the state in its request for proposals under Section II-B. Instead, Dynamic Risk uses assumptions of risk that are woefully inadequate and are not credible. It estimates that:
    • Only 20-miles of shoreline would be impacted by a spill. This is 3% of the 720-mile area the University of Michigan found vulnerable to a spill in its 2016 study.
    • An oil spill would cost $100 to $200 million when Enbridge’s cleanup costs of its Kalamazoo River Line 6B pipeline oil spill in 2010 cost more than $1.2 billion.
  5. Overestimates an impact to propane supply, greatly exceeding what independent experts have determined would be necessary to provide the Upper Peninsula’s Rapid River facility with an alternative supply. The flawed report finds that up to 35 railcars per week or 15 truckloads per day would be necessary, while another study found it would take only one railcar or 3 - 4 truckloads per day to replace Line 5 propane supply to the U.P.
  6. Shows unfair bias towards building a tunneled pipeline. The report estimates the cost of a tunnel much lower than other estimates for this type of infrastructure; it fails to consider the risk of a spill to the Great Lakes, rivers and streams from other portions of the 64-year-old pipeline if the Straits portion were rebuilt; and it fails to look at the other health and environmental consequences of allowing Enbridge to build a tunnel and further expand its transport of mostly Canadian oil through Michigan for export. Dynamic Risk has a preference for new pipelines, which was evident when the firm aggressively promoted building a tunnel in its proposal to do this report, and its analysis is deeply flawed.

The magnitude of the risk of a spill is too severe to allow Line 5 to continue to operate in the Great Lakes. Michigan should not put the Great Lakes, our economy, health, drinking water, fisheries, and way of life at risk from a catastrophic oil spill any longer.

I urge you to act as legal public trustees of our waters and bottomlands, enforce the ongoing easement violations, and begin the process of decommissioning Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac to protect the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill. The State of Michigan has an independent legal duty to take this enforcement action based on Enbridge’s ongoing violations.

Please note that submitting your public comment here has nothing to do with the Line 5 ballot proposal that is being circulated.

 

11,440 COMMENTS
Goal: 11,000 comments

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Showing 8800 reactions

  • signed 2017-10-15 20:50:53 -0400
  • signed 2017-10-12 22:09:03 -0400
    Shutdown line 5
  • signed 2017-10-12 21:18:56 -0400
    Close the pipe line down. Time Bomb
  • signed 2017-10-12 13:56:10 -0400
    We cannot continue to risk our clean waters. An incident along the pipeline under the Straits would be beyond devastating.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-10 14:53:14 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-10-10 14:52:53 -0400
    Please Shutdown line #5. I feel the negatives/risks of the pipeline FAR out way any economic benefits it may provide. Please shut it down before it’s to late and something catastrophic happens.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-07 10:13:16 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-10-07 10:12:37 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-06 06:47:17 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-10-05 21:53:04 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-05 20:29:33 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • @KbeckettKristin tweeted link to this page. 2017-10-05 20:29:31 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5. http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/comment_to_shutdown?recruiter_id=52561
  • signed 2017-10-05 20:28:41 -0400
  • signed 2017-10-05 14:17:03 -0400
    I went to the protest today at the capital (Oct. 5) where were you? There were only 22 people there. One lady carrying a sign, maybe ten Native Americans, and then the rest of us. Where were the rest of the concerned citizens? This is a vital issue for Michigan, why such a poor response?
  • signed 2017-09-27 18:55:33 -0400
    How do we find out who Enbridge has donated to?
  • signed 2017-09-27 14:16:00 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-09-25 23:48:48 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-09-25 23:47:53 -0400
    I am an avid hiker and have lived in Michigan for most of my life. Going to Lake Michigan, hiking through the forest across streams and wild rivers, visiting our beautiful islands in the lakes have all significantly impacted the person I’ve become. Water is life. Not just to drink, but to reflect on and to enjoy all the beauty life has to offer through its many forms. An imminent rupture from this pipe and others like it would devastate the surrounding ecosystems and all the beauty we all enjoy in our lakes. The oil running through this pipe needs to stop flowing now, or the life existing around it will soon die along with its beauty.
  • signed 2017-09-22 12:49:06 -0400
  • signed 2017-09-22 07:16:24 -0400
    Please protect our water! It’s such a vital part of everything about the lives of Michiganders! Do something before it’s too late!
  • signed 2017-09-20 19:20:55 -0400
    Time to retire the old line—let’s have a party and celebrate over 60 years. SHUT IT DOWN—before it’s too late. PLEASE!
  • signed 2017-09-20 14:22:58 -0400
    The world is drying up. No rain, forest fires, This is not a MI. issue. 20% OF THE WORLDS FRESH WATER. What the hell is wrong with these greedy investors that they can even begin to wait for the inevitable disaster we are facing with this aging flawed pipeline under a lake with currents that could take down a city. Stop the damn pipeline, NOW.
  • signed 2017-09-20 09:10:13 -0400
    This is appalling, and I’m embarrassed to say, I had no idea. I just posted the video to Facebook, in the hope that others who didn’t know will watch it and learn about the horrific danger(s) that Enbridge has put our beautiful state at risk for. American GREED. SHAME on you, ENBRIDGE. Sandy Surface
  • signed 2017-09-19 16:24:12 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-09-18 16:37:42 -0400
    SIGN THE PETITION to tell the State of Mich. the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is Shut Down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-09-18 16:36:54 -0400
  • signed 2017-09-18 06:03:42 -0400
    I am one year older than the pipeline! I take care of myself…. I am in pretty good shape…. but I feel the added stress- I am certain the stress to that pipeline is even greater😣We can’t trust that it will hold and why are we risking our Fresh water supply so that one company can make a huge profit with NO benefits to the US. Shut it down!!!! Protect us and our water!
  • signed 2017-09-17 10:19:00 -0400
    I have sent letters,to my State Rep, called his office, a d he has never reponded to me. I am Up set to say the least.

    Mr McGregor why do you not respond?
  • signed 2017-09-14 19:41:16 -0400
    The Western United States is experiences massive forest fires, the Gulf States are being pummeled by increasingly powerful hurricanes, but the Great Lakes don’t need to join the natural disaster club by allowing oil to spill into our source of fresh water. Especially in light of the deception about the quality of their protective coating on the part of Enbridge.
  • signed 2017-09-13 21:22:34 -0400

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