Line 5 just had its 62nd birthday. This seems like a pretty good time for retirement.
Denny Green of Oil & Water Don't Mix partner Clean Water Action writes
Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline is a 62 year-old system that carries nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil every day, right through the middle of the pristine Great Lakes. (My uncle is 61, and we no longer let him carry the Thanksgiving turkey to the table.)
So, to trust these decrepit old pipes with such an important, and significantly risky task is beyond irresponsible—especially considering that any leak could spew toxins into the largest grouping of freshwater lakes in the world, and the source of drinking water for over 35 million people. The Great Lakes account for roughly 20 percent of the fresh surface water supply in the world and that’s not something we can afford to treat recklessly.
Fortunately, there is hope, in the form of a well-needed move made by Representatives Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), Gretchen Driskell (D-
Saline), and Tom Cochran (D-Mason) who introduced a package of bills seeking more state oversight for oil and gas pipelines throughout Michigan.
The bills would increase pipeline safety and protection for the people and natural resources of Michigan, stipulating that pipeline operators comply with a host of actions, from state permits, regular Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) inspections, submitting emergency response plans (and conducting leak response drills), immediately notifying the DEQ and all impacted property owners of any known leaks.
This pipeline safety legislation put forth by these State Representatives is a long-overdue step in the right direction — and an effective way of telling Enbridge and other would-be polluters to “go jump in a lake . . . but seriously, just stay out of the lake.”