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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.


Goal: 2,000 comments

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Showing 1703 reactions

  • signed 2017-12-09 08:10:53 -0500
    Rhiannon Stewart
  • signed 2017-12-09 07:24:30 -0500
    After experiencing first-hand the devastating results of the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, I’m clear on two things: you can’t go back to pristine, ever, and no amount of inconvenience or added expense up front can compare to the expense and “inconvenience” of a spill. Michigan should should live up to its Pure Michigan slogan and be an environmental role model for our nation by standing up to big oil and eliminating the line 5 pipe under the Straits! Positive, responsible action up front is better then remorseful regret after the fact.
  • signed 2017-12-09 01:27:28 -0500
    As a native Michigander, please keep the Great Lakes as something I can be proud of.
  • signed 2017-12-09 00:52:24 -0500
    Shut down Line 5!!!
  • signed 2017-12-08 22:51:45 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-08 18:40:15 -0500
    Please take this seriously, don’t waist our natural resources.
  • signed 2017-12-08 18:37:32 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-08 18:06:26 -0500
    Joan Hall
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-08 17:11:18 -0500
    Join in telling Michigan the only way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUT DOWN LINE 5 -- immediately and for good.
  • signed 2017-12-08 17:10:08 -0500
    Take a warning from Marshall, “home” of Enbridge’s Kalamazoo River disaster. Shut Line 5 down — immediately and permanently.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-08 15:47:41 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-08 15:47:19 -0500
    I am expressing my concern regarding the pending destruction of our Great Lakes by the Enbridge Oil Conglamerate and the inexcusable lack of action by Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Shuette in providing protection of our famous sacred waters, which hold 20% of the world’s fresh water, the pristine beaches, world reknown tourist atreas, and Michigan businesses and citizens. In collusion with Snyder and Shutette is our “know nothing and do even less” , Republican legislature, who are bound and determined to destroy the economy of Billions of vacation season dollarsby their inaction to provide a Resolution to Snyder and Shuette recommending the Decommission of Line 5 Pipeline.

    There is a concerned audience of 23,000 other citizens who have filed comments regarding the decommissioning of Line 5 pipeline, all of which who vote and know of others who vote. This concerned audience is composed of business owners, charter boat owners, enviromentalists. and in the industries of tourism, agriculture, vinters , fruit growers and First Nation human beings who will have their lives and liviliehoods completely dessimated when the oil spill of Line 5 occurs. It is not if it will rupture but when!

    The Pipeline #5 has a number of deep etchings on it, as proven by Enbridge’s own investigations. The integrity and thickness of the pipeline is being reduced daily, and will reach a catastrophic breaking point soon. The etching and gouging of the pipeline are caused by natural ebb and flow of sand, broken shells, pebbles and rocks. This natural movement of water detrious has occurred for thousands of years. What is not natural is the manmade Line 5 Pipeline which if submerged in the water bin the Straits of Mackinaw which receives the brunt of these natural forces.

    It is our elected officials which Do Not admit that this pipeline has out used it’s purpose and structural integrity. De-commission line 5.It is of great danger to our economy and endangering the health of its citizens and Pure Michigan political slogan that literally attracts humans to visit our State to spend their Tourist dollars.

    Thank you,

    Leonard Kraska
  • signed 2017-12-08 11:57:37 -0500
    I got sick in 2010 after line 6b blew out into lake Michigan via the Kalamazoo river, so did other surfers-for future generations sake- decommission the oil pipelines please that cross waterways and sacred grounds for the sake of my children and future generations-better yet make a move to renewables… aloha td
  • signed 2017-12-08 11:22:05 -0500
    If when the pipeline was built back in 1953, we had todays awareness of the potential consequences, it would not have been allowed. We know so much more now. Let’s use that knowledge to correct the original decision and Shut down line 5 pipeline!

  • signed 2017-12-08 09:57:40 -0500
    It is time for Michigan to end irresponsible practices that put our state in jeopardy and move on into the future of clean energy.
  • signed 2017-12-08 09:08:48 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 20:22:38 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 20:20:40 -0500
    It is time to dismantle Line 5. There is not reason whatever for us to trust Enbridge. It is appalling that an agreement between Gov. Snyder and Enbridge would be made behind closed doors. We are in this situation because of the huge amount of money that Enbridge hands out to legislatures. The consequences of a spill would hurt Michigan and, particularly Northern Michigan for years to come.
  • signed 2017-12-07 19:39:29 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 18:45:43 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 18:35:28 -0500
    Keeping this pipeline open and operating is not worth the risk. The final report written by a firm with ties to the Canadian energy transport company that owns Line 5 is not credibile because it ignores a viable alternative to Line 5 and tries hard to make light of and gloss over the imact of a spill on this fragile environment.
  • signed 2017-12-07 18:10:10 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 17:39:24 -0500
    I write as a person of faith and a mother. Underwater pipelines leave too much risk. Spills are not a matter of if, but when, and the people of Michigan know that. It is our moral obligation to preserve clean water for generations of children to come. Water truly is life. Shut down Line $, line 6, and all the others. We already have the knowledge of cleaner, alternative power sources. And the time has come!!
  • signed 2017-12-07 17:14:44 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 16:23:53 -0500
    Theresa Landrum
  • signed 2017-12-07 16:17:40 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 15:56:31 -0500
    Considering the University of Michigan’s scenario analysis of a break in Line 5, the State of Michigan should decommission the pipeline.
  • signed 2017-12-07 11:50:24 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 10:23:04 -0500
  • signed via 2017-12-07 10:16:27 -0500

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