Take Action

Add your name to these public comments to be submitted to MDEQ by signing this petition.

OWDMTake Action Now

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to follow the recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report and should be withdrawn.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.


Goal: 11,000 comments

Will you submit your comment?

or Text SHUTDOWN to +12314804112 to sign or Text PROTECT to +12314804112 to sign

Showing 8784 reactions

  • signed via 2017-08-05 14:09:19 -0400
    The largest body of fresh water must be saved and secured.
  • signed 2017-08-05 13:51:42 -0400
    The risks to our greatest water resource, 1/5 of the world’s fresh water is too great to tolerate a pipe long overdue for removal.
  • signed via 2017-08-05 13:51:19 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 13:34:27 -0400
  • signed 2017-08-05 13:28:43 -0400
  • signed 2017-08-05 13:22:13 -0400
  • signed 2017-08-05 13:09:55 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 13:03:43 -0400
    Protect the great lakes…. shutdown pipeline 5
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:50:51 -0400
    This is a catastrophic, ticking time bomb. We need to avert this tragedy before it happens.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-08-05 12:41:44 -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 via 2017-08-05 12:40:55 -0400
    Northern Michigan depends on its tourism industry. If there were to be a spill, it would devastate Michigan’s economy. People would be forced to relocate to find jobs, but their homes would be worth nothing. The oil companies would be slapped with a fine and a clean up cost and continue on, making their millions.
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:34:14 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:27:57 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:27:51 -0400
    Once again foreign & out of state profits are being put above the basic necessities of Michigan Residents. Government isn’t about making money, it’s about ensuring the needs of your constituents. Clean water is a basic need. Enbridge profits a few rich owners/investors outside Michigan. What about all the residents living in Michigan and everyone in stated downstream, dependent on these lakes for water, fishing, tourism, farming etc? Those few rich investors at Embrige are more important than all the Michiganders you took a vow to serve?
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:21:54 -0400
    The Great Lakes of the United States are a national treasure and need to be treated and cared for as such.
  • signed 2017-08-05 12:19:38 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:16:46 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:10:03 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:07:29 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 12:01:23 -0400
  • signed 2017-08-05 12:01:00 -0400
    Save the Lakes! Be proactive before a tragedy occurs.
  • signed 2017-08-05 11:59:28 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 11:50:51 -0400
    Christen Smith
  • signed 2017-08-05 11:48:51 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 11:40:56 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 11:30:42 -0400
    Please protect our Great Lakes from the oil pipeline.
  • signed 2017-08-05 11:14:00 -0400
    We have the worlds most fresh water n our Great Lakes. Don’t let big oil companies play Russian roulette with our lives. REMOVE THEM NOW! There is never a 100% chance that it will not leak . NO MORE DEBATE, COMMON SENSE TELLS US ( WATER IS MORE Important TO HUMAN LIVES ) then OIL.
  • signed via 2017-08-05 11:12:16 -0400
  • signed via 2017-08-05 11:11:43 -0400
  • signed 2017-08-05 11:07:35 -0400
    “Line 5 must be shut down….no question. It is not a safe line or ecologically sustainable pipeline. It’s old, it’s out of code, and it’s dangerous!

    New and renewable energy sources must be invested in to save our water & land resources now. We cannot wait.

    Their (Enbridge and others) pipeline spills affect everything in our food chain! From the contaminated water and soil, to contaminated plants and animals. It’s all related. We are all related.

    Therefore, we are all affected in these disasters. The spills are never-ending all over this country, this continent, and the world.

    When will we put a stop to this from happening? What will it take to make people understand? How much and how many must get sick or die before change is made?

    We cannot afford to lose our entire fresh water lake system because Enbridge & their investors want to make money and high profits. Especially, when that fracked fuel is going to be sold overseas! That’s just ludicrous.

    I urge you to shut down Line 5 in the name of all humanity. Remove it.

    There is no other option, as trying to repair it will also surely place our water and land resources in jeopardy during that process.

    All of this should’ve been considered back when Line 5 was originally installed. Even now, new lines going in, like DAPL for instance, are already having leaks all over the place! It has become more than clear that profit goes way ahead of safety consciousness when it comes to these fossil fuel pipelines.

    It has to stop.

    Let’s start by shutting down and then removing Line 5.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.”

You can help now.

Add your voice to those working for a clean Great Lakes & healthier economy.


Get updates