Take Action

Add your name to these public comments to be submitted to MDEQ on June 29, 2017, by signing the petition to the right.

Enbridge is attempting once again to upgrade its dangerous Line 5 oil pipelines in the Mackinac Straits without any public hearing that would examine the condition of these outdated pipelines.

When they tried this eight months ago, Enbridge ran into a solid wall of public opposition. Recent revelations that their pipelines have unsupported spans that exceed the maximum length allowed means there is a heightened risk of metal fatigue and failure.

Submit Your Public Comment: Sign this Petition

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Join us in asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) as part of its permit conditions to conduct a comprehensive review of Enbridge's Line 5 in the Straits before the company attempts to squeeze more life out of their aging pipelines.

Please note that submitting your public comment here has nothing to do with the Line 5 ballot proposal that is being circulated.

To the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

We are writing in reference to Enbridge’s joint application to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) (No. 2RD-DFDK-Y35G) to install 22 anchor supports on the Line 5 pipelines in the Mackinac Straits.

We urge the MDEQ to reject Enbridge’s application as incomplete and to hold a public hearing as provided in Section 32514 of the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act (“GLSLA”) and R 322.1017 (Rule 17), along with proper notice and additional time for public comment. The magnitude of public interest in Line 5 and the Great Lakes warrants a public hearing on this important matter.

Enbridge’s application is deficient for the following reasons:

  1. it fails to demonstrate the potential adverse harm from a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes;
  2. it fails to demonstrate feasible and prudent alternatives to Line 5, which include a range of alternatives related to Enbridge’s ongoing expansion of oil transport throughout the Great Lakes region;
  3. it fails to demonstrate compliance with the 1953 Easement with the State of Michigan and to evaluate Enbridge’s piecemeal expansion of Line 5; and
  4. additional information about the integrity of the entire submerged Line 5 infrastructure is critical to protecting the public’s paramount interests in the Great Lakes.

Under Michigan’s GLSLA, the MDEQ cannot grant approval of this permit unless the following standards are addressed: a) a determination that the environment will be minimally harmed and that those adverse impacts will be mitigated; and (b) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the proposed activity that will protect the public health, safety and welfare. Enbridge’s application fails on both counts.

As an immediate emergency measure or condition of Enbridge’s application, MDEQ should suspend or reduce the transport of the rate of flow of crude oil through Line 5 in the Straits to immediately reduce the pressure and risk from the twin-pipelines in the Straits pending further proceedings; in the alternative, order the installation of anchors to reduce spans without supports below 140 feet pending further proceedings with the express condition that no assurance of any final permit under the application without a demonstration of compliance with state law.

Enbridge incorrectly claims its proposed patchwork response to Line 5’s major structural defects is “routine maintenance” when in reality the requested anchor supports will further the continued expansion of Line 5 and Line 6B in southern Michigan to largely transport Canadian oil to Canadian refineries and overseas markets.

Moreover, the recent disclosure of the Kiefner Report reveal that Enbridge has for years, perhaps decades, systematically violated the provision of the 1953 Easement with the State of Michigan that limits unsupported stretches of Line 5 to 75 feet for the pipeline’s structural integrity and longevity. This neglect coupled with the Straits powerful underwater currents likely has caused metal fatigue damage. This is particularly concerning since Line 5 currently transports 540,000 barrels per day (bbls) - 80 percent over its original design capacity.

With no reliable model to predict lakebed washouts due to the highly dynamic nature of currents in the Mackinac Straits, Enbridge cannot meet its legal duty under the state easement to prudently operate this pipeline.

The law is clear. The State of Michigan and MDEQ have “a perpetual duty . . . to secure to its people the prevention of pollution, impairment or destruction of its natural resources, and rights of navigation, fishing, hunting, and use of its lands and waters for other public purposes.” Therefore, the MDEQ must undertake a formal comprehensive review of impacts and alternatives associated with Enbridge’s entire Line 5 pipeline in the Straits and waters and bottomlands of the Great Lakes.

This duty is separate and independent from the Line 5 risk and alternative studies commissioned by the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board.

In sum, no final permit should be authorized until Enbridge has demonstrated the following: (1) Line 5 in the Straits is not likely to impair the protected public trust waters and uses in the Straits and beyond; (2) there exists no feasible and prudent alternative to Enbridge for Line 5 in the Straits within Enbridge’s overall capacity throughout its “Lakehead” or Great Lakes pipeline system; (3) it has provided additional information on the pipeline metal fatigue and heightened risk of failure; and (4) it is not violating the 1953 Easement with the State of Michigan.



This recently uncovered video from 2012 showing the condition of the Line 5 pipelines reveals long unsupported spans and other damage to the pipes. No amount of anchors will fix the shifting bottomlands of the Great Lakes, or repair the metal fatigue introduced by the decades-long unsupported spans. After you've seen the video, please SIGN THE PETITION.


Help Reach the Next Goal: 3,000 signatures

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Showing 2742 reactions

  • Kathy Braun
    signed 2017-06-29 14:53:33 -0400
    Again, MDEQ must undertake a formal comprehensive review of impacts and alternatives associated with Enbridge’s entire Line 5 pipeline in the Straits and waters and bottomlands of the Great Lakes.

    Keep our waters clean!
  • Benjamin Crockett
    signed via 2017-06-29 14:49:21 -0400
    The pipeline threatens all of the jobs and resources in the upper Great Lakes region. It has not been properly maintained and should be decommissioned.
  • Michael Bommarito
    signed 2017-06-29 14:46:59 -0400
    We are talking about 20% of the world’s fresh water being put at risk unnecessarily, in addition to the fact that the great lakes area is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Wake up legislators and listen to the people. Do the right thing and protect this awesome resource for future generations. No oil in our straits!
  • Peggy Greenwood
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-29 14:46:51 -0400
    I just signed a petition to stop Enbridge from squeezing the life out of their risky Straits pipeline. Join me?
  • Peggy Greenwood
    signed via 2017-06-29 14:46:17 -0400
    You need to protect the greatest fresh water supply in America!
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-29 14:45:07 -0400
    I just signed a petition to stop Enbridge from squeezing the life out of their risky Straits pipeline. Join me?
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    @Luvnstuff2 tweeted link to this page. 2017-06-29 14:45:05 -0400
    I just signed a petition to stop Enbridge from squeezing the life out of their risky Straits pipeline. Join me? http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/anchor_structure_public_comment?recruiter_id=4675
  • Jacob R. Raitt
    signed 2017-06-29 14:44:54 -0400
    There is yet to be a"safe" pipeline. Even the Alaskan Pipeline is beginning to wear, and that is probably the best and safest pipeline ever constructed. At inception, a cup of oil (8 ounces) was considered a “spill”.
  • Enid Littlevoice
    signed 2017-06-29 14:43:53 -0400
  • Dorothy Livick
    signed 2017-06-29 14:42:07 -0400
  • Thomas Bazant
    signed 2017-06-29 14:41:08 -0400
  • Elizabeth Mclernon
    signed 2017-06-29 14:39:59 -0400
    This fix continues to hold a high degree of risk that should not be allowed.
  • Dottie Hawthorne
    signed 2017-06-29 14:34:12 -0400
    This is a no brainer as far as I am comcerned. To put the environment especially the Great Lakes at risk can’t happen ,
  • Jennifer Colagiovanni
    signed 2017-06-29 14:31:14 -0400
    Do the right thing before it is too late – stop oil under the straits in these aging pipelines now.
  • Mary Jefferson
    signed 2017-06-29 14:31:08 -0400
    We just cannot put our greatest resource at risk like this for the sake of one greedy company.
  • Jane Lyth
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-29 14:28:13 -0400
    I just signed a petition to stop Enbridge from squeezing the life out of their risky Straits pipeline. Join me?
  • Jane Lyth
    signed 2017-06-29 14:27:50 -0400
    Living on Lake Ontario, I want to save our Great Lakes!
  • Diann King
    signed 2017-06-29 14:23:15 -0400
  • Gustavo Bourdieu
    signed 2017-06-29 14:23:05 -0400
  • Martha Lancaster
    signed 2017-06-29 14:22:58 -0400
    Enbridge has clearly been deficient in monitoring and maintaining these critical anchor supports. They have violated the easement granted to them by the State by not providing proper support for the twin pipelines. They should be required to ensure the integrity and safety of the pipeline while it is moving toward immediate decommission – which is the safest alternative.
  • Carrie Morales
    signed via 2017-06-29 14:22:19 -0400
  • Laura Brauner
    signed 2017-06-29 14:21:22 -0400
  • Tania Shurko
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-29 14:20:03 -0400
    I just signed a petition to stop Enbridge from squeezing the life out of their risky Straits pipeline. Join me?
  • Tania Shurko
    signed 2017-06-29 14:19:37 -0400
  • Jean Kermode
    signed 2017-06-29 14:16:53 -0400
  • William Loveland
    signed 2017-06-29 14:15:28 -0400
    Shut down Line #5. It is insanity to leave this crumbling relic in place. Would you drive a 64 year old car and trust your families life in it?
  • Carol Carter
    signed 2017-06-29 14:12:09 -0400
    There aren’t any do overs when we destroy our fresh water and air. We must protect this must have resource. We don’t have any other choice! Our water means more than the oil company’s profit!!!
  • Elisa Seltzer
    signed 2017-06-29 14:06:24 -0400
  • Jasper Perry-Anderson
    signed 2017-06-29 14:04:11 -0400
  • Catherine Lester
    signed 2017-06-29 14:01:34 -0400
    If the line leaks, no fine we can impose on Enbridge will make up for the damage it causes to our lakes and our tourism and the fishing industry.

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Join those working to protect the Great Lakes & climate from the Enbridge Line 5 crude oil pipeline.

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