Multiple sections of pipeline lacked required support structures, greatly increasing spill risk.
Oil & Water Don’t Mix, a coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes from an oil spill from the dangerous Line 5 pipeline, slammed Enbridge today over alarming documents uncovered by the Detroit Free Press revealing the company was out of compliance for years with pipeline safety measures included in its agreement with the State of Michigan.
“Enbridge’s decision to violate its agreement with the State of Michigan drastically increases the risk of a catastrophic oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac, and Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gov. Rick Snyder must take action to shut down this dangerous pipeline without further delay,” said David Holtz, Chair of Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign coordinator. “The six-decades-old Line 5 pipeline could rupture at any moment, and this new report amplifies the threat the pipeline poses every day to our Great Lakes, to our economy and to our communities.”
“This newly released report illustrates Enbridge’s callous disregard for protecting the Great Lakes and the fact that Enbridge’s corporate culture elevates their self-interest over the public’s interest in our waters.” - Liz Kirkwood, executive director of For Love of Water
According to the Detroit Free Press report released this afternoon:
- Sixteen sections of pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac were found unsupported at lengths far exceeding Enbridge’s agreement with the State of Michigan.
- Enbridge's original 1953 easement required span supports spaced no greater than 75 feet apart. The largest unsupported span listed in the report was 286 feet – more than three times the maximum allowable span.
- Support structures are required to reduce the impact of fast-moving Straits currents on the pipeline – and with massive sections of the pipeline unsupported for an unknown period of time, these violations by Enbridge put even more stress on the decades-old pipeline.
“This newly released report illustrates Enbridge’s callous disregard for protecting the Great Lakes and the fact that Enbridge’s corporate culture elevates their self-interest over the public’s interest in our waters.” said Liz Kirkwood, executive director of For Love of Water. “It’s high time for our state leaders to fulfill their obligations and enforce the legal agreement with Enbridge. Because of Enbridge’s reckless policies, our Great Lakes are at great risk.”