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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.

 

1,638 COMMENTS
Goal: 2,000 comments

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Showing 1612 reactions

  • signed 2017-11-27 10:48:14 -0500
    Having a major oil pipeline paaing through the precious great lakes was an ill convieved notion to begin with and never should have been allowed. The recent oil spill of the brand new keystone xl pipeline proves that oil corporations should not be trusted, especially when the public opposition is so great yet completely ignored. The profits of a few oil tycoons should not be what makes decisions concerning the welfare of our environment and the health of the people in it. Fossil fuels must be eliminated for the immediate future of life on this planet.


    Enough is enough, do the right thing, execute the will of the people, de comisiion line 5 immediatley!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:48:12 -0500
    The Great Lakes are one of our largest natural resources and we need to stop taking this huge risk and look at the value of our waterways. This is a huge potential disaster in the making. People depend on this water for drinking and survival. Please shut down this pipeline.immediately.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:47:32 -0500
    Water us life. Literally.

    WHEN Line 5 fails. It threatens millions of peoples drinking water, tourism disappears, the ecosystem fails.

    We don’t need dirty oil flowing through our state.

    The 21st century technology for clean renewable energy exists.

    Are your allegiances with the people of Michigan or Enbridge?

    Shut down Line 5
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:47:19 -0500
    Water is one of our most valuable resources. Please keep it clean for future generations. Shut down line 5.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 10:47:07 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:47:00 -0500
    The findings from this poorly designed and executed study do not provide adequate support to continue the travesty that is Line 5. Please protect our environment and stop this project.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:46:49 -0500
    Please don’t allow Enbridge to continue operating Line 5. Enbridge and it’s ally company that files reports are not truthful in reporting flaws in the pipeline. People of Michigan deserve clean water without the threat of a major oil spill from pipeline 5. Alternative routes for the oil/natural gas are available. Protecting our water is a sacred trust. Please shut down line 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:46:43 -0500
    As a resident of Michigan, I use the waters of Lake Huron and the Mackinac straights, frequently. I do not believe that the study of Pipe Line 5 has adequately addressed the recommendations of the Michigan Pipeline Task Force report. Please do not allow heavy crude to continue to be passed through Pipe Line 5!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:45:11 -0500
    No amount of oil is worth polluting our Great Lakes! The risk is huge! Shut line 5 down!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:42:59 -0500
    How many times must we remind the state of Michigan that risking our Great Lakes makes absolutely no sense, whether from an environmental or an economic stand point! There are alternatives which must be acknowledged; shut down line 5!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:42:53 -0500
    Please do not risk an oil spill near the Great Lakes!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 10:42:10 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:41:49 -0500
    We have a company, Enbridge, who’s total disregard for our Waterways is bordering on criminal! They have continued to violate agreement after agreement. The Kalamazoo Rv. debacle proves to me that Enbridge is not prepared to handle an environmental crisis of the Magnitude of a Great Lakes Oil Spill! Please shut down Line 5 and protect our economy and our Great Lakes Waters industries!

    Steve Mangas Clay Township, St. Clair Co. MI 48001 Lifelong Resident
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:41:49 -0500
    The Great Lakes are one of Michigan’s greatest assets. Damage done to these lakes would be devastating to the state’s economy. Please do the responsible thing and decommission Line 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:41:36 -0500
  • @abirkam tweeted link to this page. 2017-11-27 10:41:28 -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=52932
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:41:12 -0500
    It is shameful that our elected officials would ever put profit ahead of human and environmental safety. I cannot say I am surprised by this since it seems to be part and parcel of human history. I can say that water really is life, without it life does not exist in any form. We should be treating it as the essential resource it is instead of allowing its abuse by the few wealthy who reap profit from its abuse.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:40:42 -0500
    Please don’t wait until it’s too late! Our water is sacred! Shut down line 5!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:40:24 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 10:39:23 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:38:05 -0500
    Stop the Canuck robber barons from endangering our great lakes
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:36:53 -0500
    There should be no oil or other fossil fuel products transported under the Straits of Mackinac or anywhere else under the Great Lakes for that matter. The risk to the environment as well as the economic impact that would follow a spill are too great to allow. There are alternatives to pipelines under the Great Lakes that would not pose such a great threat to the environment and the people who live in the region.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:35:38 -0500
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:34:42 -0500
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:33:27 -0500
    This paralysis of positive action must stop!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:32:32 -0500
    I am not in favor of the pipeline under the bridge or any where in the Great Lakes! There has been too many leaks in the lines. The Greak lakes are critical water supply for our nation and we must do everything possible to protect this precious water supply.

    Fresh water is more important than any money or big business .
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:32:16 -0500
    It would be tragic if generations of children were denied the ability to utilize one of the most precious natural wonders in the world.
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:31:03 -0500
    Save the Great Lakes and shut down Line 5!
  • signed 2017-11-27 10:30:42 -0500
    We voted for you to protect our natural resources..not to destroy them..your selling off the water to a cooporation …now if you don’t act to protect the lakes we will find some one else to do the job..remember your children and those who come after need you to act before it’s to late.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 10:29:14 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.

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