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Add your name to these public comments to be submitted to Michigan state agencies by signing this petition.

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Last June, the preliminary Line 5 Alternatives Study was released, and more than 23,000 people submitted their comment calling for the shutdown of Line 5 as the only alternative that will truly protect the Great Lakes from an oil spill. The revised and final Alternatives Study has just been released, which has triggered a second comment period that is now open.

Prevent a Catastrophic Great Lakes Oil Spill

The deadline for public comments is December 19, 2017, so please sign on and submit your comment today via this online form. Let's prevent a devastating oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

To the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Agency for Energy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Governor, Michigan Attorney General, and Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board:

I am writing to submit my official comment in response to the State of Michigan’s Line 5 final alternatives analysis dated October 26 and released on November 20. I am deeply disappointed in this final analysis. A draft alternatives report released in June was riddled with errors and omissions, and the final report contains most of the same failures.

This report fails to meet its overall purpose of “providing the State of Michigan and other interested parties with an independent, comprehensive analysis of alternatives to the existing Straits Pipelines, and the extent to which each alternative promotes the public health, safety, and welfare and protects the public trust resources of the Great Lakes.”

It lacks credibility because its author is Dynamic Risk, a firm with ties to Enbridge, the Canadian energy transport company that owns Line 5. Even worse, it absurdly underestimates the impact of a spill and ignores a viable alternative to Line 5 – use of existing infrastructure. An independent expert review in December 2015 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. Moreover, this final alternative report affirms that decommissioning is a feasible option with zero risks to the Great Lakes and minimal economic impacts to Michigan customers (e.g., two cents more at the gas pump and roughly 10 to 25 cents more for propane in the Upper Peninsula). 
It is time for the state to reject the flawed study, exercise its affirmative legal duty as public trustee of the Great Lakes and bottomlands, and shut down Line 5. The state should use that authority to revoke the 1953 easement agreement that Enbridge has consistently violated.

The risk of a spill is too great to allow Line 5 to continue to operate in the Great Lakes. Our state government 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. In fact, on November 16, the Coast Guard Coast commandant testified again to Congress that his agency is not prepared to clean up a large-scale pipeline oil spill in the Great Lakes.

I urge you to act as public trustees of our waters and bottomlands, enforce the easement in light of Enbridge’s ongoing 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 a legal duty to take this enforcement action. Enbridge’s ongoing violations cannot be remedied. It is time for the state to act decisively and with urgency.

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, which resulted from a process created by the governor and co-chaired by the attorney general, and therefore cannot be used by the State of Michigan “in making decisions about the future of the Straits Pipelines.”
  2. Neglects to provide the state with an independent, fair analysis of the alternatives to Line 5 as required by the Task Force Report. This final report remains biased toward allowing Line 5 to continue to operate and/or allowing Enbridge to build new oil infrastructure in the Straits of Mackinac and further expand its operations. That bias grows out of past, and potentially future, business relationships between Enbridge and the report’s authors.
  3. Fails to analyze existing pipeline infrastructure as an alternative to Line 5 in the Straits, which the state required Dynamic Risk to analyze, and leaving it out conflicts with Task Force recommendation 3 (b). It is unacceptable that the contractor eliminated this alternative without any analysis. The 1953 easement granted with strict conditions by the state to Enbridge does not guarantee transport of 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and natural gas liquids. In fact, the 1953 MPSC Order states 300,000 bpd, which means Enbridge is currently operating Line 5 at 80 percent over design capacity. 
  4. Fails to analyze new evidence disclosed by Enbridge affecting the pipeline’s integrity, including external corrosion, 48 bare metal spots caused by the installation of screw anchors, compromised cathodic protection, and historic excessive pipeline spans greater than the 75-feet limit (including a 286-foot span that was unsupported for years), as required by the legal operating agreement with the State of Michigan. Dynamic Risk’s rationale, in part, is that "it would be inappropriate to speculate on any of the above aspects of the coating condition."
  5. Fails to consider tribal sovereign treaty rights and feedback on the basis that Dynamic Risk was not a party to tribal and state consultations, which is an unacceptable dismissal of input by a key stakeholder. 
  6. Grossly underestimates the total economic spill costs at between $147 million and $310 million, when Enbridge’s cleanup costs of its 2010 Line 6B pipeline oil spill along a 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River cost more than $1.2 billion.
  7. 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 the Line 5 propane supply to the U.P.
  8. Continues to show an unfair bias towards building a tunneled pipeline in the Mackinac Straits. The report estimates a much lower cost for a tunnel 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. Dynamic Risk prefers 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.


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Showing 1674 reactions

  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 11:01:55 -0500
    Keep our drinking water CLEAN and SAFE. JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-13 11:01:06 -0500
    Our drinking water and the drinking water of our beloved wildlife, should never be put at risk for contamination due to an oil spill.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 10:56:31 -0500
    While I understand the financial benefit and that the oil companies work tirelessly to avoid incidents, there is no possible way to prevent an accident. Shutting down Line 5 is the only way we can be 100% sure to keep our waters safe. Forget the money and stand with the environment we all love.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 10:25:18 -0500
    Also, remind Congress to act on CHIP so the residents of Flint can at least get the water replaced in their houses and possibly a filtration system.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 10:22:40 -0500
    Shut down line 5!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 10:16:29 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • @chriswininger tweeted link to this page. 2017-12-13 10:16:26 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5. http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/submit_your_line_5_comment?recruiter_id=54460
  • signed 2017-12-13 10:16:06 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 10:09:43 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 10:00:09 -0500
  • @LisaPatrell tweeted link to this page. 2017-12-13 09:50:09 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5. http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/submit_your_line_5_comment?recruiter_id=53615
  • signed via 2017-12-13 09:49:57 -0500
    PureTourism= 540,685 direct&supporting tourism jobs and $37.88B business revenue

    PureAgriculture= 52,194 farms over 10M acres w 923,000 farming jobs & 22,600 jobs in supporting industries generating $101.2B economic activity

    __versus__Line5 l00 known land leaks

    __versus__Line5 ~1M gal/hr flow with knowledge that USCG cannot lay boons nor operate skimmers in waves in access of 3ft + no winter recovery plan + known pipeline defects + known in effectual Enbridge to not detect leaks + risk of Enbridge financial viability in light of catastrophic Line5 rupture in the Straits.
  • signed 2017-12-13 09:44:55 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-13 09:10:45 -0500
    Please do not destroy our beautiful natural Great Lakes by allowing the pipeline to continue.
  • signed 2017-12-13 08:24:26 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-13 05:28:21 -0500
    Pipeline 5

    The only prudent and sane decision is to shut down Line 5 pending a full and honest review of facts, risks, and alternatives.

    The Dynamic Risk study dated Oct. 26th and released Nov. 20th of this year is inadequate and flawed. It is deeply prejudiced in favor of a private Canadian corporation, is inconsistent with other, independent studies, and does not meet the purpose of the study to provide alternatives that protect the “public health, safety, and welfare and protects the public trust resources of the Great Lakes.”

    The scientific and engineering evidence is compelling: line 5 does not provide a fuel that Michigan needs, contributes little to our economy, and puts at unnecessary risk the waters of the straights, our economy, and our people.

    Enbridge has a history of spills. The report vastly underestimates the cost of clean up, especially in light of the cost of the Muskegon River clean-up. Cleaning up a spill in the turbulent, often frozen waters of the Straights is a pipe dream. The Coast Guard does not have the ability, as the Guard’s Commandant testified to Congress on Nov. 16th. Embridge has not demonstrated a real capacity to respond to a spill other than to promise improvement.

    Enbridge has a history of missing, ignoring, and concealing pipeline flaws and licensing violations. There is no credible reason to believe this will change. It reminds me of an irresponsible child who, desiring a puppy, promises to walk the dog daily when he’s never done so in the past.

    Add to this that petroleum pipeline business may well be unsustainable. This calls into question Enbridge’s long-term financial interest and ability to insure and maintain the pipeline. For example, the World Bank now refuses to invest in fossil fuel projects and Axa, the global insurance company, will no longer invest in or insure tar sands projects or U.S. pipelines. https://thinkprogress.org/world-bank-axa-fossil-fuel-investments-70234906ffdf/ The markets are moving away from fossil fuel.

    The petroleum is not needed by Michiganders. The propane needs of Northern Michiganders can be met by rail, truck, or using a stub of the pipeline without crossing the straights. Their heating needs can better and more sustainably be met through weatherization and alternative energy.

    Enbridge does not have a right to pump under the straights. It has no vested interest in protecting the waters, the people, the economy of Michigan, nor the treaty rights of Native peoples. You have a fiduciary duty to put all of these factors first before the economic interests of a foreign corporation. Enbridge does not have the capacity to protect against deliberate sabotage.

    Enbridge contributes little to Michigan’s economy; the few jobs it provides are vastly outweighed by the economic contributions of fishing, tourism, and the value of clean, secure water.

    Infrastructure determines our behavior for years into the future. Petroleum products are the fuel of the 19th century. The scientific evidence and history of the fuel is clear: petroleum products are dirty, dangerous, and harmful on a local, regional and global scale. We do not need line 5. Line 5 is dangerous and outdated. I confess that I continue to use petroleum products because the alternatives are more difficult to obtain. We do need to focus on renewable energy infrastructure. This is the future we need. We need a conservative approach to natural resources and infrastructure that fosters a sustainable Michigan economy.

    Our democracy can only function well when its decision making is open, honest, fact-based, not prejudiced by private economic interests, respectful of Native American treaty rights, and follows the rule and the spirit of the law. The governor’s recent agreement with Enbridge is a good example of a bad way to conduct government.

    This is not a political decision. Your responsibility is to the people of the State of Michigan, the lakes that surround us, and to the generations following us. You are accountable for your actions: do your duty and shut down Line 5.

    John O’Neill
  • signed 2017-12-13 04:28:34 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-12 23:17:39 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed via 2017-12-12 23:17:13 -0500
    It’s time for new alternatives. Support Elon Musk. Anarchist against capitalism.
  • signed 2017-12-12 23:12:21 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-12 22:25:48 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-12 20:55:49 -0500
    Is allowing a foreign company to put Michigan’s greatest natural resource at such tremendous risk worth it? Common sense tells you no. Shut down Line 5 or find an alternate route that doesn’t cross the Great Lakes!
  • signed via 2017-12-12 20:38:03 -0500
    Please preserve our Great Lakes
  • signed 2017-12-12 20:08:06 -0500
    Many organizations over the years have presented expert, irrefutable, scientific data and exposed extensive corruption regarding Line 5 safety.

    Obviously, given the events of the last few days, a few members of the DEQ are listening.

    UNFORTUNATELY, Lansing is still not listening.

    Michigan GOP leaders continue to close their ears, to guard their pockets, to build their political careers, to make deals with Enbridge, and, in the end, show they care little about the good of their constituents and offer only excuse after excuse and delay after delay.

    Over the last several years, while Lansing has refused to act proactively to shut down line 5, new and ever creative terrorist methods have emerged in this rapidly unpredictable world.

    I believe the two 20" Canadian-owned Enbridge Line 5 pipelines, each 5 miles long, and their pump stations, lack even the appearance of appropriate security.

    Given the significance a rupture, and the results a subsequent oil spill would have on the incalculable value of the Great Lakes; I believe these two pipelines are unacknowledged and unprotected terrorist targets.

    Unfortunately, two hours of research, using only the Internet, made clear how credible and uncomplicated a terrorist attack on the line 5 pipelines would be.

    Until now, the line 5 pipelines have been seen primarily as a Michigan problem.

    I contend the GOP controlled legislature of Michigan has failed miserably to act in the best interest of the people they are supposed to serve.

    Due to the their lack of responsible action, the pipelines are now potential terrorist targets and threats to all members of the Great Lakes Compact which declares itself "the primary legal safeguard of the Great Lakes’ water supply.

    The Great Lakes Compact, comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania , Wisconsin, and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec all surround the five interconnected freshwater bodies, known as the Great Lakes, and equally share the responsibility of protecting the Great Lakes.

    Fortunately at a national level, Homeland Security is watching. For the last 58 years, traffic was allowed in two lanes of the bridge during the Mackinac Bridge Walk. In 2017, the Bridge Walk Event was identified as a terrorist target and the Bridge was closed to all public vehicle traffic to comply with a request from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in light of the recent increase in terror attacks where terrorists used vehicles to target large crowds of people.

    In February of 2017, the United States Department of Homeland Security and Canada took steps "to combine expertise and experience to further both nation’s abilities to better prevent, respond to and recover from hazards and homeland security threats”. I reiterate, any threat to the welfare of the Great Lakes is a matter of both National and International Security.

    The U.S. Coast Guard has stated they have no plans to address a spill in the Straits of Mackinac

    during open water weather or ice covered weather. Furthermore, while the US Coast Guard’s Underwater Intruders Detection and Alert System (UIDAS) is effective in safeguarding shipping harbors and their entrances, UIDAS is completely ineffective in wide perimeter areas.

    While a protection buoy system, consisting of high frequency, high-resolution, active sonar, which can be set to fixed or selected search sectors, transmitting alerts to an on-shore command post, exists. There is no evidence this system is in place in the Straits of Mackinac.

    Meanwhile. the Straits remain a vulnerable, extremely well traveled year round shipping route.

    Over 1000* commercial and cruise line vessels, just up to last Sunday, passed through the Straits.

    During the summer, the Straits are the ultimate playground of countless pleasure craft, races, wind surfers, kayakers canonists and even jet skiers.

    To sum up, the US Coast Guard, the U.S military branch responsible for maritime law enforcement in both domestic and international waters, operated under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, has neither the capability to detect a terrorist attack or a plan to clean up a resulting spill in the Straits of Mackinac.

    The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. They hold 84% of North America’s surface fresh water.

    It’s past time to move the focus of what a rupture in either or both of the line 5 pipelines and a subsequent oil spill would have on just Michigan. Eight states of the United States and two provinces of Canada are threatened as well.

    Remember a terrorist attack against individuals or property is not an end in itself, it’s only a means to disrupt economies, intimidate or humiliate governments, and /or to create overwhelming fear and chaos among the people affected.

    Any possibility of a terrorist act rupturing the line 5 pipelines is a threat to the Great Lakes.

    The line 5 pipelines must be shut down immediately until they are adequately protected.

    Brenda Rusch
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-12 20:06:38 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • @susanpankhurst tweeted link to this page. 2017-12-12 20:06:36 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5. http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/submit_your_line_5_comment?recruiter_id=1679
  • signed 2017-12-12 20:06:16 -0500
    Please listen to “we the people” who want this pipeline shut down to protect our water, health, and way of life.
  • signed 2017-12-12 20:00:27 -0500
    The major" Dilbit" disaster of 2010 in the Kalamazoo River would seem minor by comparison to a Macinac straits rupture should the outdated dilapidating pipeline do likewise. Please find an alternative.
  • signed via 2017-12-12 19:44:38 -0500
    Line 5 has extended beyond its time limit & presents too much risk to Michigan natural resources & livelihoods, in addition to America’s greatest source of fresh water! SHUT IT DOWN NOW!!!
  • signed 2017-12-12 19:32:49 -0500
    As a citizen of Michigan I urge our Governor Attorney General and all state regulatory and environmental protective agencies to shut down Line 5 and to stand with the people of the state and protect this most valued resource. Do not wait until we are in the Clean up Phase.Do it now.

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