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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 1703 reactions

  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 20:49:14 -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 20:48:48 -0500
    This is a terrible deal no matter how its looked at. It’s far more profitable to keep the Great Lakes safe and clean.
  • signed 2017-12-13 20:15:43 -0500
    The pipeline needs to be closed or a new double layered pipeline tunnel with sensors is needed. All pipeline segments in the state crossing water or wetlands need this done, not just at the straits.
  • signed 2017-12-13 20:14:39 -0500
    The only alternative is shutting line 5 down. Ow
  • signed 2017-12-13 19:53:54 -0500
    Dexter McNamara: The Great Lakes belong to the public . Gov Snyder had no business making an agreement with Enbridge. The Voters for the State of Michigan should have say so on what happens to that pipeline and it needs to be SHUT DOWN
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 19:33:51 -0500
    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 19:26:34 -0500
    Shutting down only during storms is asinine, ignorant, and not enough… Shut it down permanently
  • signed via 2017-12-13 19:21:21 -0500
    Line 5 must be shut down! Protect our beautiful and bountiful Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-12-13 19:18:07 -0500
    Shut it down, it is past time.
  • signed 2017-12-13 19:17:40 -0500
    Why isn’t the public trust doctrine use to shut down Line 5?
  • signed 2017-12-13 19:11:59 -0500
    Audrey Minick
  • signed 2017-12-13 19:05:11 -0500
    With the history of oil extraction, pipelines prove to fail. Nothing is worth polluting the very water we all drink from, or destroying the soil and wildlife that own that area. Unethical environmental racisim needs to stop.
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:56:05 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:39:41 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:28:16 -0500
    I’m a native of the Straits of Mackinac and this pipeline is long overdue being shud down, not for repairs, FOREVER! #ShutDownLine5
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:27:07 -0500
    Shut down Line 5 completely
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:22:50 -0500
    Shut down Line 5 completely & immediately. Put effort into safe, eco responsible, renewable energy & move away from fossil fuels entirely asap.

    Thank you for your cooperation.
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:15:56 -0500
    Shut down Line 5 for the safety of our Great Lakes and the economy that depends on them.
  • signed 2017-12-13 18:05:11 -0500
    I own a home in Northern Michigan, and my family and I hope to move back to live in our home state very soon. We value the fresh water there and polluting these amazing bodies of water is just wrong. The lakes are a huge part of why everyone chooses to live in Michigan. Water is not only a resource, it is also sacred. And destroying what is sacred is a sin. A sin is doing something you know is wrong. This is wrong, no two ways about it. Do what is right.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 17:55:46 -0500
    The only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to shut down Line 5!
  • signed via 2017-12-13 17:05:39 -0500
    Stand for the Great Lakes before it’s too late!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 16:35:28 -0500
    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 16:34:56 -0500
    I enjoy our fresh water here in Michigan. I boat and fish the Great Lakes and connected waterways. I spend $1000’s every year in my state. Don’t take any chances with our water.

    SHUT DOWN LINE 5
  • signed 2017-12-13 16:27:16 -0500
    I grew up on the Great Lakes, I currently live near them, and I plan to raise my children up on them as well. This Is a threat to one of the greatest aspects of life in Michigan which is our Great Lakes, to threaten our Lakes is to threaten all Michiganders. When this pipeline spills and it will spill based on what we have seen it will create a domino effect of chaos for the state of Michigan. Our economy is heavily dependent on our Great Lakes, if you kill the lakes you kill our economy. Our politicians need to get the dirty oil money out of their pockets and remember that they are supposed to protect us the people not corporate bottom lines.
  • signed via 2017-12-13 16:26:11 -0500
    I live in the U.P. mostly because of the WATER, and well, the trees too but without the water there would be no trees. These Great Lakes are OUR Great Lakes so why in the world would we risk damaging such a precious natural commodity, fresh water, simply for the profit of a foreign for-profit corporation? GET IT OUT! REMOVE LINE 5 NOW! Deborah Rose Hilscher
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 16:20:10 -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 16:19:55 -0500
    Snyder what is wrong with you? You have been entrusted with the largest amount of fresh water in the country and you are letting yours and the oil industry’s greed, attempt to destroy what is a birthright for ALL of us and that includes your children & grandchildren. Shut that line and any other line down and DO NOT allow anymore lines to endanger OUR water supply, ever again!!!
  • signed via 2017-12-13 15:41:36 -0500
    the people of Michigan want this pipe line shut down! you need to at some point do what the people actually want!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-13 15:41:35 -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 15:41:10 -0500

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