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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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Goal: 2,000 comments

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Showing 1703 reactions

  • signed 2017-12-07 09:52:11 -0500
    The only reason this hasn’t been shut down is Enbridge having enough money to influence those that should be making the prudent decision based on potential of disaster
  • signed 2017-12-07 09:01:46 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-07 06:23:37 -0500
    Steve Sikkema
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-06 22:35:36 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-06 22:34:16 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-06 22:33:27 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-06 22:33:01 -0500
    I am a Lake Michigan tourist and homeowner. 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. Additionally, 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).
  • signed 2017-12-06 19:18:49 -0500
    Why continue to risk the waters of the Great Lakes? Think of the horrible consequences of a major spill. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • signed 2017-12-06 18:55:52 -0500
  • signed via 2017-12-06 18:55:09 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-06 17:57:05 -0500
    So many reasons to shut this down over keeping it open, it’s a no brainer. If it goes, what will happen to the pure Michigan campaign?
  • signed via 2017-12-06 17:31:29 -0500
    Line 5 is a “Ticking Timebomb” filled with oil. When it does go off (and it will), generations will experience its negative impacts. It’s time to do what’s right.
  • signed 2017-12-06 16:04:25 -0500
    Trusting Enbridge is a dangerous mistake. They have been caught lying numerous times, and have a lot more concern for their profit than they do for the people whose lives depend on HEALTHY Great Lakes.
  • signed 2017-12-06 15:42:36 -0500
    After the spill on the Kal. River the risk is too high not to shut down Line 5.
  • signed 2017-12-06 14:21:26 -0500
    How can you take a chance with our precious Great Lakes? These oil companies are leaking everywhere, and there is no going back once they do. Prove yourself a true “Michigander” and protect our wonderful state! Isn’t F;int’s water situation enough to try to remedy. Do we need more problems with our precious water??
  • signed 2017-12-06 14:01:08 -0500
    Did you listen to anything we said to you at all? You did not even meet with the 12 nations that depend on the Great Lakes on a daily basis. You made another deal with the devil. Enbridge is not a reliable oil and gas pipeline provider. Kalamazoo River ring a bell? Enbridge has broken this lease year after year and still you make a pact with them. MI doesn’t even get any of the benefits and all of the risks…SHUT IT DOWN, NOW!
  • signed 2017-12-06 13:59:50 -0500
    Do what’s right, not just for the present, but for future generations. Stop the pipeline.
  • signed 2017-12-06 12:18:03 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-06 11:16:04 -0500
    Any possibility of any man made object that has a possibility of polluting the Great Lakes must be stopped. There isn’t reason to put our lakes in danger. Stop line 5 immediately and prevent any more incursions in our lakes.
  • signed 2017-12-06 11:08:42 -0500
    Shut down Line 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac NOW before a leak occurs. Enbridge has proven itself time and again that it is an irresponsible company. The State of Michigan cannot afford the risk of an oil spill on the Great Lakes!
  • signed 2017-12-06 11:06:22 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-06 10:28:47 -0500
    I am the Chairwoman of the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians. We are the Oldest Historical Tribe in Michigan with State Recognition seeking Federal Recognition. In the History of the Mackinac People there is and never has been an easement granted to any oil company (of any form) to run a line through our ceded waters and territory. I have personally worked on this for 3 years. I have contacted Enbridge personally and the State Park in St. Ignace’s Ranger to no avail. We were offered 4,500.00 by Enbridge Representatives to just keep a blind eye. We as a Tribal Council and as a Nation of People will do whatever is needed and work in UNITY with anyone who is willing to step up and get this line not only shut down but to stop the Tunnel they want to put in.
  • signed 2017-12-06 10:25:54 -0500
    This is the worst place in the world for a pipeline! Shut it down before it’s too late.
  • signed 2017-12-06 10:13:20 -0500
    Shame on you AGAIN Rick Snyder!!!

    You clearly DO NOT have the best interest of our states sacred land & water on your mind when you act in such a dishonorable way.

    SHUT DOWN LINE 5, you greedy *******.
  • signed 2017-12-06 09:28:15 -0500
    Shut down line 5 is thebbonlyb solution.
  • signed 2017-12-06 09:13:18 -0500
    Tourism and the exploration of Michigan’s natural beauty — including and especially the Great Lakes — is a far bigger, better “industry” than oil. If you do this proposed idiocy, and you will see what happens to Michigan’s economy when the inevitable spill happens — and IT WILL! (Always does . . .). No one wants to swim and fish in an oil slick. I am flabbergasted at the stupidity and short-sightedness of Governor Snyder and his oily cronies.
  • signed 2017-12-06 08:30:39 -0500
    The state government needs to stop the oil industry from destroying the Great Lakes. The industrial and corporate interest only look at their bottom line. Our elected officials are supposed look out for their constituents, we the people. The only way to stop the insanity in government is at the ballot box. Do not forget where Schutte stands now when he runs for governor in 2018.
  • signed 2017-12-06 07:55:41 -0500
    Enbridge is responsible for the Kalamazoo River spill in 2010. 1 million gallons of heavy crude ended up closing the River, putting wildlife and residents in peril and restricting use of the river for years.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-05 23:02:42 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-05 23:01:49 -0500
    Decommission LIne 5.Our Great Lakes are too precious a resource to risk. We love our Great Lakes. Never take them for granted. Never use them for environmentally dangerous profit. Stop this pipeline!!

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