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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.

 

1,639 COMMENTS
Goal: 2,000 comments

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Showing 1612 reactions

  • signed 2017-11-27 09:44:23 -0500
    Shut down “line 5” and save our natural resources from being contaminated by a spill! This is a very old system and never maintained properly anyway.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:44:16 -0500
    Shut down line 5 now!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:44:13 -0500
    I am hopeful that our elected officials will do what is right for the citizens of Michigan. Oil-free Great Lakes is what the citizens want. Line 5 is the number one threat to Michigan’s greatest asset – the Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:43:55 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 09:43:49 -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 09:43:34 -0500
    Clearly, Enbridge is being less than honest and forthright regarding the many serious breaches in the protective material on Line 5. Gov Snyder should demand an immediate shutdown! Also, it’s time to re-route the line over land and remove the pipes crossing under the Straits!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:43:00 -0500
    I own a home on the shores of Lake Huron just 45 miles south of the Straits, and I’m extremely worried. Do the right thing and shut down Line 5 now!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:42:34 -0500
    This pipeline needs to be shutdown before a disaster occurs. Please do the right thing by protecting our Great Lakes. Shut down line 5
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:42:34 -0500
    SAVE LAKE MICHIGAN AND LAKE HURON please. properly repair or replace LINE 5
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:42:29 -0500
    We see oil spills EVERYDAY, somewhere, we can’t afford them in the Great Lakes!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:42:09 -0500
    The risk of a spill is too great to allow Line 5 to continue to operate in the Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:41:46 -0500
    Please don’t wait til its to late to take action on this issue. Keystone is a prime example!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:41:04 -0500
    Shut it down. Enough is enough. I
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:40:57 -0500
    Please for the love of all things living, shut down this risky pipeline that will effect more than imaginable in and around the Great Lakes region. Our environment is worth it. We all depend on it. Don’t shit where you eat!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:40:55 -0500
    Shut Line 5 down now!
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:40:21 -0500
    Shut down line 5 and protect the Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:40:06 -0500
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:39:31 -0500
    Please do the right thing by protecting our Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:39:12 -0500
    Shocked that Dynamic Risk, the company that produced the study has worked with Enbridge in the past, worked with them during the investigation, and will work with them after this.


    Shocked that the study dismissed the obvious alternative viable option of sending oil through other existing pipelines instead of through the Great Lakes.


    Shocked that the report failed to follow the recommendations and standards outlined in the Michigan Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report.


    Over 23,000 of us submitted our comment calling for the shutdown of Line 5 in August. Now, they released the final Line 5 Alternatives Study, and it is no better than the preliminary, draft version. We are once again shocked that the final study does not take into account recent news of 48 bare metal spots caused by the installation of screw anchors, and of the resulting compromised cathodic protection of this pipeline.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:39:10 -0500
    The time for comments and discussion is done. This pipeline needs to be shutdown before a disaster occurs. There have been so many lies about the condition of the pipeline and it has outlived its intended life. Everything is working ok, until it’s not, and the it’s catastrophic. Please…decommission this pipeline.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:38:43 -0500
    I have seen the state of line 5 personally while scuba diving the straights and can testify its condition is degrading faster than any report has indicated. Exposed bare metal, angled deviations from straight lines, missing and damaged supports all are a real threat to the lines stability. This line need st be shot down, retired, and removed before it fails. Its not if, its when it fails that will utterly wipe out the entire area as well as ripple effects to the entire lower lakes system. We have a moral obligation to protect the Great Lakes for future generations to enjoy. It was not given to us by our parents, it was lent to us by our Grandchildren.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 09:38:32 -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 09:38:09 -0500
    To lie about the conditions of any means of transporting any toxic substance is to risk the well being of everyone on this entire planet because all things are connected. When the family and children and employees of Enbridge or any other so-called energy company get cancer, have untreatable disease and learning disabilities and mental health issues that tie back to contaminated WATERWATER, our LIFE-GIVING REQUIREMENT — who then will protect YOU Enbridge and all your cohorts in crime? The Great Lakes are our LIFE. Your lies spell death and money cannot save you or us.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:37:55 -0500
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:37:46 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 09:37:43 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:37:07 -0500
    Enbridge Line 5 is a preventable disaster waiting to happen. We have an organization with a record of malfunction and duplicity pumping pollutant fuels through long-expired pipelines. This would be bad enough on land, but under the Straits of Mackinac? At the heart of the largest freshwater system on Earth? The potential for environmental — and economic — destruction is simply too great to allow this to continue.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:37:05 -0500
    The effect of a breakdown in Line 5 on Lake Michigan will have far reaching consequences beyond our shores. The Great Lakes are a SYSTEM. A change in one will change them all, and everyone who relies and benefits on them. As the largest region of fresh water in the world, the scope and breath of a disaster in Lake Michigan will ultimately affect us all. The focus of the conversation and decision making in this debate should be about how to shut it down quickly, effectively and efficiently, not whether it should be shut down at all. While we argue, the line is disintegrating.
  • signed 2017-11-27 09:36:45 -0500
    This is a flawed study. If not now, when will this thing be shut down? Do you think that submerged oil pipes subject to this kind of thermal stress fatigue will last forever? This makes absolutely no sense. These pipes are senior citizens. They should have retired decades ago. As long as Enbridge earns more money than they would have to spend on cleanup, they will continue to lobby against the people of Michigan. Shut this thing down now.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-11-27 09:36:33 -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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