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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 2017-12-12 01:34:14 -0500
    Protect the straits of Mackinac
  • signed 2017-12-12 00:15:17 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-11 23:13:35 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-11 23:13:06 -0500
    Please shut down Line 5, for tje sake of our Great Lakes and the people that cherish their divine beauty.
  • signed 2017-12-11 23:08:30 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-11 23:03:34 -0500
    Shut this pipeline down totally….not in our Great Lakes which are so vital to our State’s economy and to the enjoyment of our citizens.
  • signed 2017-12-11 22:07:28 -0500
    It is time that the pipeline is decommissioned before some irreparable harm is done to the Great Lakes. Information I have read suggests that contrary to Enbridge publicity, most product transported is directed to Canada and not the USA. Put the line out of service!
  • signed 2017-12-11 22:06:36 -0500
    Shut down Enbridge line 5!
  • signed 2017-12-11 22:00:24 -0500
    Human history forces us to acknowledge the fact that even state-of-the-art engineering can be fatally flawed—Hindenburg, Titanic, Chernobyl. What they all had in common was hubris—an unrealistic confidence in human achievement. All machines will fail someday. We can survive small scale failures. Failure in the Straits of Mackinaw, however, is too costly to consider. Any expectation of containment or clean-up is a calculated, self-serving distraction; Prince William Sound has yet to recover from the Exon-Valdez spill.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-11 21:57:39 -0500
    JOIN ME and tell the State of Michigan the only acceptable way to protect the Great Lakes is to SHUTDOWN LINE 5.
  • signed 2017-12-11 21:57:20 -0500
    Kaitlin Sonner
  • signed 2017-12-11 21:35:05 -0500
    Shut it down !!!
  • signed 2017-12-11 21:29:38 -0500
    Shut it down now!
  • signed 2017-12-11 21:28:38 -0500
    That the State of Michigan continues to allow Line 5 to function given the risk to the enviornment as evidenced by the lackluster approach to maintaining a safe pipeline by the current operator not withstanding the possible economic impact of a spill on the entire Michigan economy, is beyond imagination. It would be difficult to envision a more unfortunate outcome for the local residents than that of oil covered beaches and floundering wild life (remember the gulf spill) or the economic devastation that would result from a substantial reduction in tourist revenue because the main attraction is unavailable for swimming, walking or fishing. When are the Authorities going to wake up and decide that Line 5 is/was a bad idea done with an unrelible partner, and needs to be remedied.
  • signed via 2017-12-11 20:32:07 -0500
    Shut down pipeline and stop the destruction of our great lakes.
  • signed 2017-12-11 20:27:29 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-11 20:16:28 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-11 20:16:27 -0500
    Shut. It. Down. All the advisory board meetings in the world won’t mitigate the risk. There are no safety measures that will ensure a leak won’t happen. Any degree of risk to our precious Great Lakes is unacceptable.
  • signed 2017-12-11 19:58:48 -0500
    We want clean water.
  • signed 2017-12-11 19:48:10 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-12-11 19:46:19 -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 2017-12-11 19:44:58 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-11 19:32:13 -0500
    Shut the pipeline down! The company has been hiding specific details pertaining to the condition of the pipeline, and they need to be held accountable for their actions by being obligated to repair it to the fullest extent. Further, with the condition of the pipeline itself in question, I personally think it is in the best interest of the public of the state of Michigan to shut the pipeline down PERMANENTLY. Transportation of fossil fuels, which contribute to the degradation of the natural environment, is not worth risking the natural beauty and ecological balance of the entire Great Lakes waterway. Michigan needs to embrace climate change now more than ever, and shutting down line 5 permanently is an incredibly effective method in leading the effort to revolutionize this state for a cleaner, greener future! Please, for the sake of the public and for the safety of the land, waterways, natural resources and statewide wildlife connected with the Great Lakes, SHUT DOWN LINE 5!
  • signed 2017-12-11 19:00:10 -0500
    shut down line 5 and protect the Great Lakes – 21% of the Earth’s fresh water!
  • signed 2017-12-11 18:56:05 -0500
    Shut it down before the catastrophic environmental crisis happens. Please!
  • signed via 2017-12-11 18:51:25 -0500
  • signed 2017-12-11 18:48:34 -0500
    There are no fresh waters to replace the Great Lakes.

    Shut down Line 5 and support solar and wind.
  • signed 2017-12-11 18:43:54 -0500
    The Line 5 pipeline is unsafe and threatens the livelihoods of people throughout the Great Lakes region. It also threatens the incredible water and wildlife resources available to Michiganders present and future. Time and time again information has been presented which signals that the pipeline is prone to spillage within the next few years, as well that our resources are insufficient to mitigate such a disaster before severe economic and environmental damage is done. Those in charge of our safety and prosperity need to shut the pipeline down.
  • signed 2017-12-11 18:42:19 -0500
    SHUT DOWN LINE 5………Looking at the worst case scenario should be all the incentive needed to shut this down.
  • signed via 2017-12-11 16:42:45 -0500

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